Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Menus & Medicine: “Grub for Scrubs” brings restaurant meals to healthcare workers

Support for healthcare professionals working on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis has taken the form of social media hashtags and signs in windows, but now it’s coming hot from the takeout box.

Local Harrisburg design company andculture and its startup accelerator, Catamaran, began a new food delivery initiative on Wednesday putting meals in the hands of healthcare workers at UPMC Pinnacle.

“We have a lot of friends and colleagues working in health care,” David Hickethier CEO of andculture said. “It’s a really challenging service they’re providing.”

Appropriately named “Grub for Scrubs,” the project uses partnerships with local restaurants such as Café Fresco, Premier Caterers, Stock’s on 2nd and Sturges Speakeasy to provide for essential workers at both Harrisburg Hospital and UPMC Pinnacle Community Osteopathic.

Each time $1,000 is raised for a restaurant, meals will be provided. Donors can give specifically to the restaurant of their choice or to a general fund. They have already raised over $2,000.

The deliveries will be made through coordination with UPMC to ensure safety policies are met, Hickethier explained.

“Our team of caregivers is working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of our patients and each other,” said Andrea Potteiger, vice president of Nursing Operations at UPMC Pinnacle. “A hot meal gives us time to step away from the frontline, replenish and recharge. It really means a lot.”

In addition to essential healthcare professionals, andculture’s goal is to assist restaurants struggling during the crisis, Hickethier explained.

“One day, they’re up and operational, the next they are shut down,” he said. “We thought, maybe we could help both groups in our community.”

Adam Sturges, owner of Sturges Speakeasy, was happy to be part of the Grub for Scrubs project, knowing it would bring awareness that his restaurant is still open for takeout. But the main reason was that he knew firsthand how it would help others, as his wife is a registered nurse.

“We want to show our appreciation for staff down at the hospital,” Sturges said. “They’re the ones dealing with the worst of the situation right now.”

Hickethier hopes that more restaurants will get involved and is especially looking for a few bakeries and coffee shops to join the mission. In fact, Harrisburg’s Elementary Coffee Co. just signed onto the effort.

andculture plans to continue the program for one to two months, or as long as they see the need.

“The community has got to pull together and we’ve got to find ways to support each other,” Hickethier said.

andculture is located at 614 N. Front Street, Harrisburg. For more information or to donate, visit

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