PEMBROKE — With her bicycle fitting business on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beth Mills had some free time on her hands. She had always wanted to help people and when she heard about Front Line Appreciation Group, which raises funds to pay restaurants to provide meals to area healthcare facilities, she rose to the challenge and started a Southeastern Massachusetts chapter.
“I heard about two women in New Jersey who started this project, and chapters began springing up all over the country,” said Mills, who owns Cycle Lodge with her husband Jimmy. The business specializes in custom-fitting bicycles to riders so has been closed since the social distancing guidelines were put in place in the commonwealth. “There wasn’t a FLAG chapter in our region and I thought it would be a great thing to do to fill a couple of needs. The restaurants are all reduced to takeout right now, and we were looking for a way to support the restaurants as well as healthcare workers and it seemed like the perfect fit.”
She has launched a Facebook page, which can be accessed by clicking https://www.facebook.com/FLAG-Front-Line-Appreciation-Group-of-Southeast-Massachusetts-103295631337091/?modal=admin_todo_tour . There is also an option to contribute via Paypal, paypal.me/flagsema or by Venmo at Venmo.com/FLAGSEMA
Mills is looking for restaurants who want to be part of the effort as well as more donations to fund the meals. On Monday, she said, she had worked with Jersey Mike’s of Hanover to deliver 200 submarine sandwiches to South Shore Healthcare (South Shore Hospital), as well as Christina’s in Pembroke to deliver dinners Wednesday night. Solstice in Kingston and Plymouth Provisions in Plymouth are ready to go to help feed the frontlines in Plymouth.
“The restaurants have been amazing so far,” she said. “We are trying to keep the costs to $6 per meal. They are giving us very good pricing. Everyone wants to help.”
Anyone interested can help in the effort by contributing to help fund the costs of the food, and any restaurant owners who want to be part of the program would be very welcome. Restaurant owners can reach her at FLAGSEMA@gmail.com.