South Florida teen turns heartbreak into noble cause to feed front line workers

Dozens of police officers, deputies fed for free at Nanou French Bakery and Cafe

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After losing her firefighter cousin to the novel coronavirus, a 14-year-old girl in South Florida decided to do what she could to help his fellow first responders.

Dozens of Fort Lauderdale police officers and Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were fed breakfast Friday morning thanks to the Feeding the Front campaign.

The campaign is a way for eighth grader Ava Emilia Yoldas to show gratitude for all the hard work that first responders are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Officers on Friday were able to simply walk up to a food truck at the Nanou French Bakery and Cafe on Las Olas Boulevard and order whatever they want on the menu, free of charge.

The campaign was prepared to feed about 50 Fort Lauderdale police officers and 50 BSO deputies Friday morning.

Yoldas raised about $10,000 for the event through a GoFundMe page and a private account.


Over the last two months, she has used some of that money to feed about 800 people, including firefighters and hospital workers.

She said she was inspired by her cousin, Anthony Pantone, who died from COVID-19 in March.

She said her mother spoke to hospital workers and they told her what they needed most during this time is personal protective equipment and healthy meals.

“They said they were having a hard time finding food and everything. Because of the coronavirus, most restaurants were shut down,” Yoldas said. “A lot of different things were hard to get for them. So we thought by getting food from the restaurants and bringing it to them, we’re both supporting the restaurants and our front line workers.”

The owner of the bakery told Local 10 News that he was a police officer in France for many years, so this cause is personal to him.

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