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Meal Train delivers for hard-pressed healthcare staff

Meals on wheels: a selection of hot lunches prepared by Hamilton’s Portofino restaurant is given to medics at the hospital’s emergency department (Photograph supplied)

Frontline healthcare workers are being fed on the job through a free meals delivery service.

Food is being delivered to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s emergency department and intensive care unit on a regular basis through Meal Train, a scheme set up to let contributors order meals from restaurants – and have them sent direct to the hospital.

Meal Train was set up by Victoria Markus last week and already pledges have come in from 17 sponsors committed to keeping medical teams fed during busy shifts.

The KEMH is at present inundated with Covid-19 patients, with around 12 in ICU.

Ms Markus said she decided to organise Meal Train after she asked an ER doctor if there was anything she could do to help overworked staff.

She added: “He suggested that I send over some pizzas. So I organised with some other mums who were similarly enthusiastic about showing support to deliver pizza.

“We did two deliveries for the day shift and night shift and it was very well received – so well received that I organised it again with a different group of friends.

“From there I realised that there were many people who wanted to contribute, which led me to formally organise the Meal Train.”

Ms Markus said there were two drop-offs, one to emergency and the other to ICU, on specified days.

She added: “We are hopeful that we can organise a third delivery for the acute care ward, but this is still in progress and we have to source patrons.“

Ms Markus said the charity drive had gathered momentum in just one week.

She added: “There are currently 17 patrons, but this involves far more organisations and individuals. In addition to patrons, there are also the vendors.

“The patrons sponsor the meals and the vendors prepare and deliver them.

“So this is doubly beneficial to Bermuda because we have the opportunity to help the hospital but we also are supporting the restaurant and hospitality industry who, as we all know, have suffered greatly in the pandemic.

Ms Markus, who has worked in event planning and fundraising, said the project was “one of my biggest endeavours”.

She added: “The hospital is under immense pressure as evidenced by the Disaster Alert Level 4, and KEMH is central to the well being of Bermuda.”

Ms Markus said: “I have participated in a Meal Train and also been a recipient.

“After I had my third child, I needed a lot of support and my friends very kindly organised a meal train.

“It made the first few months as a mother of three much easier. I have also used it to help other friends during difficult moments in their lives.”

But Ms Marcus said there were other ways the public could help healthcare professionals.

She added: “After talking to the front line workers who are benefiting from the meal train, if you really do wish to help then they ask that you please get vaccinated.”

Ms Markus said: “Roughly 95 per cent of Covid patients in the ED and ICU are unvaccinated.

“People may still contract Covid after taking the vaccine, but they are less likely to have a severe case requiring medical intervention or hospitalisation.”

To sponsor a meal, visit https://mealtrain.com/e1754o.

Members of the food industry who want to submit a proposal for meals should e-mail mealtrainsbda@gmail.com.

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Published September 22, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 22, 2021 at 7:48 am)

Meal Train delivers for hard-pressed healthcare staff

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