WINNIPEG, April 15, 2020 – More than 550 meals were provided last night to Health Sciences Centre frontline personnel finishing their shifts. They lined up—two metres apart—to enjoy a complimentary meal from Earls Kitchen + Bar, paid for by donors to the HSC Foundation.
Dinner will be served again this Friday night. The HSC Foundation is asking donors to step forward with financial support to extend the Feeding the Frontlines program for the foreseeable future, and to expand the program to more nights per week.
“Our goal is to rally the community in support of the health care professionals serving Manitobans on the frontlines at HSC. We want to thank them, and we need to take care of them. By providing meals, our community is acting to nurture, nourish, and express gratitude,” said Jonathon Lyon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation. “We are so grateful that Earls approached us with this outstanding idea and an offer to provide meals at their cost so we could provide them for free to our heroes at HSC. We also thank McNaught Cadillac Buick GMC for providing a van to deliver the meals to us.”
As an additional show of support, Earls is making it easy for customers to donate to the HSC Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund when they order food online from any of the three Winnipeg locations.
Earls Restaurants adheres to best practices in food preparation to ensure that all meals are safely handled from beginning to end. The individually packaged meals are delivered to a parkade near the hospital where staff can claim a meal by presenting HSC identification. For additional safety, the meals are only available for staff leaving the hospital at the end of the shift.
“This is an important example of how individuals and businesses can show their support,” said Lyon.
Along with the new Feeding the Frontlines program, the HSC Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund has been making hotel rooms available for frontline health care workers who need to rest and wash between shifts or before going home. This initiative, launched in partnership with Canad Inns, has helped frontline workers manage the unique stresses of working in health care in these days of COVID-19.
“Our donors have responded very favourably to everything we have been doing and we are very grateful. But given the unpredictable nature of this pandemic, we need to do even more as a community to support our frontline heroes,” said Lyon. “Food and hotel rooms have been identified by HSC leadership as important needs. Others needs will emerge as the pandemic intensifies.”
Thanks to donor support of the HSC Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund, the Foundation has already been able to fund the research and development work behind the production of a mould for a made-in-Manitoba protective mask, designed by HSC plastic surgeon Dr. Christian Petropolis. And in the Fund’s earliest days, donor support paid for communications equipment and service to help HSC patients stay in touch with their loved ones while visitor restrictions are in place.
“This crisis is bringing out the best in Manitobans,” said Lyon. “People have been generous, they care, and they want to do more. We are seeing the immediate impact of philanthropy, and we are seeing the compassionate spirit of Manitobans.”
Donations to the HSC Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund can be made online at hscfoundation.mb.ca or by phone at (204) 515-5612 or toll-free at 1-800-679-8493.