Article courtesy of: ABC30
By Sara Sandrik


A new organization called Front Line Appreciation Group, or FLAG, is raising money to buy food from local restaurants and deliver them to hospitals.

A new group in the Valley is asking for your help to support healthcare workers and local restaurants that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bubbling sauce brings a whole new meaning to comfort food. It’s one mouthwatering part of the meal that chefs at the Elbow Room in northwest Fresno prepared for some very deserving customers at Community Regional Medical Center.

“We’re sending down some really great food, a hot meal, both to the ER and ICU and we’re going to do some chicken cacciatore, and I’ve got great chefs doing a little rice pilaf, salad, dinner rolls, and yours truly is going to be delivering it,” says owner Michael Shirinian.

Shirinian says he’s had to lay off several employees since the COVID-19 ‘shelter in place’ restrictions began, but he’s staying open to serving take-out meals and fulfill special orders.

He was excited to get a call from a new organization called Front Line Appreciation Group, or FLAG, which is raising money to buy food from local restaurants and deliver them to hospitals.

“Being a registered nurse myself, I know how difficult those 12-hour shifts can be, and I just wanted to do something to give back to the healthcare providers and the community and restaurants that are struggling right now,” says Tali Whelan of FLAG.

Whelan reached out to Shirian on Friday, and he quickly came up with the menu. One day later, they loaded the food into a van and drove it to CRMC in hopes of giving healthcare workers their own shot in the arm.

“In the ER we’re busy all the time so whenever we have a chance to get some food we’ll get it, and to have that available to us means a lot for sure,” says Dr. Ranvir Dhillon of CRMC.

Staff members say they’re thankful for the support they’ve received from the community and their own colleagues as they continue to face these challenging times.

If you would like to contribute, you can through their PayPal account.