Five days into the COVID-19 quarantine in New York City, Anna Azvolinsky *09 was decluttering a closet in her family’s apartment when she uncovered a small supply of forgotten N95 masks that were given to her years ago during a flu outbreak. Knowing that the masks were critical for those on the frontline, she asked friends for advice and learned that Mt. Sinai hospital had the greatest need.

She took the masks to the Mt. Sinai Emergency Room, where she asked the staff, “What else can we do?” What she heard surprised her. After PPE, the greatest need, “is that hospital staff don’t have time to think about meals,” says Azvolinsky, a science journalist who graduated from Princeton with a doctoral degree in molecular biology.

She didn’t waste any time. That same day, she and her husband, Joel Weingarten, and their business partner, Ryall Carrol, created Meals4Heroes, a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit offshoot of Weingarten’s and Carrol’s nonprofit, Doing4Others.

Meals4Heroes solicits donations and connects restaurants with healthcare workers, buying and delivering meals to feed large groups, such as an entire ER or ICU shift at a hospital. The healthy meals are all purchased from local restaurants near the hospitals. Currently, the organization works with 16 local restaurants that create custom meals for 40 to 200 people at a time.

The program is gathering momentum and helping feed more heroes on the front lines each week. In their first week in late March, Meals4Heroes sent 790 meals to four hospitals. In its second week the organization sent 2,865 meals to five hospital. From April 13 to 17, 5,600 meals will have been sent to 10 hospitals.

“Since we started, every day has been busy and fulfilling, connecting with local restaurants, healthcare workers and our donors, addressing this acute need,” says Azvolinksy.

Learn more by visiting Meals4Heroes.

Maggie Zhang and Daniel He

Alumni create online directory to support local businesses

Mar 30, 2020 Community

Maggie Zhang ’16 and Daniel He ’16 recognize that small businesses are the heart of our communities — and the most susceptible to the economic effects of the pandemic. To help those businesses survive, they created Local for Later, an online directory to promote local businesses through gift cards. they wrote on their site, which has grown to include 11 U.S. cities.

Each city’s list is made up of businesses submitted by users, and includes restaurants, shops, and activities like theaters and tour companies.

See the lists and add your favorite here.

Messages to #VirtualPrincetonU

Princeton Faculty Members Send Greetings As Classes Go Virtual

Mar 26, 2020 Community , Education

No one has all the answers about what comes next, not even Princeton faculty. But as Princeton shifted to virtual learning during the COVID-19 outbreak, professors from across disciplines sent warm video reassurance that their mission remained the same, and that Princeton is wherever you are.

#TellUsTigers Q&A: Tanesha Brown, nurse manager, University Health Services

#TellUsTigers Q&A: Tanesha Brown, nurse manager, University Health Services

Mar 20, 2020 Community , Health Care

Tanesha Brown, the nurse manager at University Health Services, is a critical member of the University’s coronavirus preparedness team, working with a broad range of departments and colleagues across campus. She reflects on addressing the fear of the unknown, how she practices self-care and the most important things she wants people to know during the coronavirus crisis. Read more …