Five years ago, classically trained chef Eric Brenner opened Red Gravy in downtown Colorado Springs to bring a taste of modern Italian cuisine to our community. “As a chef,” Brenner says, “I feed people. That’s the best way I know to help our neighbors.”
So, when the pandemic first hit and all hospital kiosks, cafes, and cafeterias were closed—along with bars and restaurants—Brenner launched Meals to Heal: a local GoFundMe initiative to aid two critical frontline industries at once: healthcare and restaurants. “We wanted to provide food for healthcare workers, first responders, and emergency services personnel who are battling to keep us all safe and healthy during the pandemic,” Brenner says.
He and his staff have prepared, packaged, and delivered thousands of meals all over the city, from UCHealth downtown to Colorado Springs Food Rescue and local nursing homes.
The response has been overwhelming.
“We are dealing with such emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion here at the hospital,” Delphinia Santos writes via Facebook. “We are so grateful that someone is looking out for us! Red Gravy!”
“As the initiative grew,” Brenner says, “we watched in awe as Meals to Heal was adopted in up to 13 states with another dozen coming online soon. I never imagined that it would go beyond our region and provide aid to thousands and thousands of people from coast to coast.”
As a grateful hospital employee says, “A hot, delicious meal can heal a tired heart. Thank you, Eric Brenner.” redgravyco.com