Kylie Frame: The face behind Feed the Frontlines Marin

Photo by Lily Bowman

It’s 4:30 a.m., and senior Kylie Frame is walking out of Mill Valley Refuse carrying now-empty crates back to her car. A hospital worker runs after her and asks if she orchestrated the whole delivery. His face is tired, but his eyes are bright with gratitude. Frame remembers him saying, “Chocolate chip muffins are my favorite, you just made my day. I’m so happy to know someone is thinking of and supporting us.” 

For Frame, reactions like that are the “kind of thing that makes it so worth it. These people aren’t typically recognized, and honestly they should be more than just during a crisis. They do so much for us all year-round.” 

Frame is the founder of and the drive behind Feed the Frontlines Marin. Feed the Frontlines is a nonprofit organization that raises money to purchase meals from local businesses and donates those meals to the essential workers in the area.

“Our good family friends, the Di Pietros, started Feed The Frontlines NYC, and I decided to bring the concept here to Marin. It is time to help these local businesses. But I can’t just donate $35,000 on my own,” Frame said.

She began by contacting Ged Roberston, owner of Mill Valley Lumber Yard’s Watershed restaurant. Once Frame developed a business relationship with Watershed, she prioritized social media outreach for donations.

“I reached out to people, encouraging them to donate. And if people were not able to, since it is a very tough time right now, I encouraged them to send [our message] to a few friends,” she said.

Sooner than expected, Feed the Frontlines Marin had lifted off.

“I think my biggest mistake was not setting up a separate email address for this because now my email is flooded,” Frame said.

They received a manifold of daily donations, ranging from $1 to $1,000. So far, Frame has raised over $50,000, a number that is steadily increasing as time goes on. There’s not a minimum donation requirement. Anyone with the means can contribute.

Frame was pleasantly surprised by the response from the community response. “It’s been incredible just to see all types of people supporting us. We have people making donations who don’t even live in Marin,” she said. 

Her partnerships with local business flourished, but Frame plans to keep her circle on the smaller side. “We are emphasizing supporting restaurants and businesses who source locally. That way, all of the money coming in will flow back into Marin and support the farms, bakeries, and economy as a whole,” she said. 

Juice Girl, a popular restaurant among Tam students, became involved early on in the growth of Feed the Frontlines Marin. “It has been awesome. The doctors, nurses, and hospital staff especially loved the juice donations,” Frame said. 

 Every week, Frame conducts six to seven meal deliveries to essential employees, including those at Marin Refuse Service, Safeway, Bol, San Quentin Maximum Security Prison, the Marin hospitals, pop-up childcare centers, and pharmacies. Frame has delivered over 3,500 meals. On Easter Sunday, Frame delivered 175 breakfast burritos to the Marin General Hospital. That is just one of the myriad of early-morning runs she has made.

A common question by local news organizations and friends is how Frame can possibly manage an operation of this caliber. “It is almost difficult to delegate tasks without losing control over the whole thing,” she said, adding “It’s been incredible, the amount of people who have offered up help. I wish I could take more people up on their offers. People have not only been supportive financially, but people have donated their time.” 

Frame has had friends assist with deliveries, and contribute to administrative tasks such as taking photos or handling graphic design outreach. However, Frame is truly the point person among the ordeal. With modesty, she laughed, “I don’t know how to say that in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m running the whole thing on my own.”

Although there has been speculation, there is no certain end in sight for the shelter-in-place order.

“I am just trying to keep the fundraising momentum going. At the rate we’re going, we’re spending around $8,000 a week,” Frame said, “It’s risky. Who knows if this lasts for two more months? We may need to be feeding or helping frontline and restaurant workers for much longer. But there is no way to know.

If there are funds left over after the shelter-in-place order has been lifted, Frame plans to donate it to the local business and essential-worker enterprises she has developed relationships with. “I grew up here, eating at all of these local restaurants, and it really sucks seeing them all struggle like that. So it felt like a way to give back,” she said. 

If this already sounds like a great amount of work for one person, Frame has juggled her online classes throughout her journey. “It is hard for me to value my school work over this. It really is just the most important thing for me right now. And I could delegate tasks and hand things over to adults, but I’ve worked so hard to put things together and I don’t want to give it up,” Frame said. 

That said, Frame has “gotten to a point where this is so fulfilling it makes up for any loss I’ve had. When I walked into the Safeway break room, they had all signed a handwritten card and had flowers for me. They were so thankful somebody was supporting them.” 

Frame has not only developed a deepened appreciation for her community but a newfound love for managing nonprofits. Moving on from high school, she has plans to major in education at Vanderbilt University. However, considering this experience, Frame has hopes to continue learning the ropes in overseeing a nonprofit organization. 

In reflecting upon her road up to this point, she said, “Something that has been helpful in guiding me is my ability to connect with people and drive to benefit my community. This has been a perfect way to do that. I have met so many great people, and have connected with those who I may never have prior to this.”