NORTH BAY -- The CareMongers, a group of volunteers in North Bay formed to help essential service workers in the community, has grown to almost 1,600 members on Facebook since March break.

Not bad for a group that began with just five members, all brought together by local teacher Alyson Roynon.

“The CareMongers … was a group put together to kind of meet the needs of the community during this COVID crisis," said Colleen Parker, one of the original members. "It started just after March break – Alyson got in touch with several of us and asked if we would be interested in forming a Facebook group to be able to help out people who couldn’t get out.”

When Roynon brought the idea to the whole group, everyone was eager to help.

The group created a Facebook page where they share the different ways they are helping around the community. Parker said it grew very quickly from there.

“It started small -- we didn’t really know what the mandate was going to be and it's kind of evolved over time,” she said.

It began by delivering deserts and meals to frontline workers, as a thank you for their work, but the goals of the group have branched out to include making personal protective equipment to donate.

The focus is thanking essential workers, such as grocery store employees, who are still working during the pandemic.

“They are … frontline workers, but they’re the ones that are forgotten," Parker said. "But they’ve also helped us to avoid another health crisis. So were giving them the opportunity to feel the love the same way that everybody else does."

One of the programs the group is currently running is the Fuel our Frontlines program, where CareMongers collect donations to buy meals for frontline workers from local restaurants.

The CareMongers Facebook page said, the group was able to bring hot meals to 37 frontline workers from the money they raised last week.