Help a Hero. Save a Business.

ECDI is supporting central Ohio healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting small businesses.

Photo provided by ECDI

The Food Fort, an incubator and commercial kitchen, was founded as the next level of support for ECDI’s clients. ECDI’s mission – to invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change – meant we needed a home base for our food trucks, caterers and bakers. For the last five weeks, ECDI has mobilized all resources, including at the Food Fort, to better support food-based businesses and find them work during the coronavirus pandemic. Our commitment to our clients and our community through this pandemic presented a great opportunity to support frontline heroes.

First, ECDI and the Food Fort opened our kitchen doors to support Service! a non-profit community association providing free meals to restaurant industry staff and their families. To date, Service! has made more than 1,400 meals at the Food Fort with ZERO waste. 

Hospitals workers are in short supply of food for staff because cafeterias and cafes are closed due to COVID-19. Beginning Friday, ECDI Food Trucks will begin providing free meals to frontline heroes. By donating $1,000 in meals to support healthcare heroes, ECDI can create new business opportunities for food trucks that are otherwise out of work. 

Lisa Gutierrez, owner of Dos Hermanos food truck is a great example of how a food truck quickly adjusted in order to continue serving clients during this uncertain time.

“ECDI has helped us continue to be able to do business,” Gutierrez says. “They have provided us with thermometers for our staff, hand sanitizers, business funding, and a new business opportunity allowing us to continue to serve the community.”

ECDI’s first frontline stop will be Mount Carmel Grove City this Friday, April 23 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. where Dos Hermanos will be feeding 100 health care workers. ECDI’s goal is to donate $1,000 weekly by sending food trucks out to frontline responders throughout Central Ohio. Support from the community can help us grow our efforts. 

“Help our businesses and help our heroes at the same time,” says ECDI Founder & CEO Inna Kinney. “Your donation to ECDI leads directly to more opportunities like this to support our neighbors on the frontline of this crisis. By donating to ECDI you are a part of a local movement in providing food to first responders, grocery store workers, healthcare professionals and many more.”

For more information regarding ECDI food donations, please contact Douglas Craven, [email protected], or visit

This mutli-part sponsored series highlighting ECDI’s work in Columbus is presented with paid support by ECDI.

Since 2004, ECDI has assisted Ohio’s entrepreneurs through its one-stop shop business services model, suited to meet the needs of all entrepreneurs, regardless of what business stage they’re in. From providing capital to entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses, to providing focused, business-specific educational opportunities to enhance entrepreneurial skill sets, ECDI works with their clients to meet their unique needs. Whether assisting a new client with a business concept or an accomplished entrepreneur opening a fifth location, ECDI’s “never say no” approach has allowed over twelve thousand entrepreneurs to take advantage of the services it provides. Visit today to learn more.