Coronavirus: Celebrity author couple Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon feed hospital workers, help restaurants amid COVID-19 pandemic

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- You may know the celebrity author couple Ayelet Waldman and her husband Michael Chabon. Waldman has written more than a dozen novels and Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

"I went to highland and went to the triage and said you guys want dinner and the first person I saw burst into tears and I burst into tears," says Waldman.

They are starting by feeding frontline staff in hospital emergency rooms at Highland, Summit, and Children's hospitals in Oakland.

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"Delicious wonderful meals that can boost your morale from the best restaurants around places you love," said Waldman.

The program is called "East Bay FeedER" and they're actually paying full price for meals.

"No discounts we pay the full price plus a big fat tip," said Waldman.

That's because the goal is to keep restaurants like Jenny Schwarz's Hopscotch in Oakland up and running.

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"Our sales are down about 60-70 percent so if we get a $500 bump in a day it can be the difference in covering our expenses for the day or having it be a loss," says Schwarz.

At least $75,000 in donations have already come in. Michael Chabon says it's not about saving money when the food is bought it's about serving the workers a solid meal with that money helping restaurants.

"We could just as easily say to the frontline workers go ahead and eat out of the vending machines and you got a cafeteria, but we're trying to do something more," said Michael Chabon.

Waldman says she wants to grow this program all across the East Bay, "we know the people who serve us at these restaurants we know the chefs these are people we love and to lost that heartbeat of a community would be terrible," she said.

Here is a link to their GoFundMe page.

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