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grub for scrubs: win-win for local restaurants and healthcare workers

Anne Parmer

As a company, we know that quick thinking, collaboration and spotting broken realities can be the catalyst for something bigger than ourselves.

As people, we are firmly rooted in our community and strive to help those around us daily. And as people, none of us can escape the impact of lockdown or the anxiety of living in the wake of COVID-19. But all of us can make a difference in our local community by supporting small businesses and healthcare professionals who are dealing with the inevitable stress of working long hours or trying to figure out how to keep their doors open during a global pandemic.

We looked around Central Pennsylvania and found a way to quickly make a difference for both the small, local restaurants AND our healthcare professionals at UPMC Pinnacle. The thinkers at andculture quickly partnered with our team at Catamaran (andculture’s venture arm) and with Pledge It, a local startup focusing on fundraising in professional sports. Using our skills paired with PledgeIt’s tools, we rapidly developed and deployed Grub for Scrubs — a website fundraising platform where local restaurants can join and community members can donate to their favorite restaurants (or a general fund). When milestones are met, freshly prepared meals and treats are delivered to the frontline healthcare workers.

It only took a few days to raise enough money to send our first batch of meals from local eatery Cafe Fresco.

“In addition to feeding the healthcare workers, your company's project has enabled us to call more people back to work,” said Jen Fertenbaugh, owner of Cafe Fresco. “Our entire staff is grateful for this order and this project.”

We also know there’s more to work towards — change that will need to be architected and that will dictate what the future is like. At the moment, we’re trying to make the current reality for our neighbors better. In the future, we hope to make the world better for all of those living in it.

“Our roots are in the community. We deeply appreciate how difficult this has been for the people we interact with every day, from the owners and employees of our local restaurants to the healthcare providers on the front lines,” said David Hickethier, founder and CEO at andculture. “We’ve launched Grub for Scrubs because we wanted to help serve in any way we can during this time as we look towards what is next together.”

Photo for receiving the food shipment

Photo of employees receiving Cafe Fresco meals

Please get involved! Individuals or groups interested in donating, as well as interested local businesses and restaurateurs, can find the fundraiser and additional information at If you can’t donate, spread the word to your network or invite restaurants to participate and share.