'Made with love’ – Salvation Army delivers meals to hospital nurses
Nurses tucked in to sandwiches and chocolate cakes “made with love” from the Salvation Army as it delivered meals to frontline health staff yesterday.
The charity’s Captain Dwayne Barnes said: “We want the nurses and staff to know they are remembered and wanted to do something practical.
“We thought providing a meal for them would help because the nurses and health staff stay long hours at the hospital and having to leave work to prepare meals could add to the already exhausting period.”
The Salvation Army will prepare 65 lunch boxes and 65 dinners that will be delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next three weeks.
Each meal will contain a “promise card” with words of encouragement to keep morale high among staff at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
Captain Barnes said all the meals were “made with love” and that the charity chose to help the hospital after learning about how stressed and overworked healthcare workers still were.
He explained: “None of us thought this pandemic would last this long.
“Recently, in conversations with a few nurses we learnt how overwhelmed the hospital has been with the Covid-19 cases.
“We knew we had to do something for our health workers.”
Captain Barnes added: “In looking around, we realised our hospital was overwhelmed and healthcare workers stretched to the limits.
“In the correspondence with the hospital, we realised they have a need – and we want to help.”
He said that the Salvation Army would offer food for more than the planned three weeks if it turned out to be feasible. He added that the charity was ready to help in other ways, such as taking hospital staff to and from work.
Captain Barnes said that the charity was also working on initiatives for residents at homes for seniors, such as dropping off fruit baskets and hygiene products.
The Salvation Army is not the only group which has pledged to feed overworked hospital staff.
Victoria Markus started the Meal Train earlier this month, which allows contributors to buy meals from restaurants and have them delivered to the hospital.
Ms Markus said that they now delivered to three acute care wards – Ace Barber Unit, Catlin Lindo Unit and Ascendant Partner Re Unit – in addition to the emergency department and intensive care unit.
Ms Markus said: “Originally the target goal for the Meal Train was three sponsored meals per week for the duration of a month but due to overwhelming interest we are having food delivered almost daily.
“We have organised at least one meal – but usually two meals – that have been delivered daily for about 20 days straight.
“Towards the end of the month there will be three days a week where sponsors have signed up to deliver meals.”
Ms Markus has not been inside the hospital to see the reaction of staff but the KEMH operations team keep her up to date with the many warm responses the staff have had to her generosity.
The Meal Train has also been helpful for the restaurants that she collects food from.
Ms Markus said: “Especially now that there are strict gathering limits, catering opportunities are few and far between.
“It's not just weddings and birthdays that have decreased but corporate gatherings, so this has been an excellent opportunity for locals to support restaurants and cafés as well.”
She also stressed: “If people really want to help the hospital staff, then they should get vaccinated.
“Vaccinated people might still contract Covid, but are less likely to have a severe case requiring medical intervention or hospitalisation.”
• To sign up for the Meal Train, visit https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/e1754o