Through a program called “Feed the Soul,” hospital workers across North Carolina are receiving deliveries of nutritious meals as they respond to growing needs to treat COVID-19 patients. The program also supports local restaurants seeing a slowdown in business. The meal deliveries are made possible by contributions made to an emergency response fund created by the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation ( NCHF ), a nonprofit charitable organization.
To date, the program has delivered more than 10,000 meals to staff at 13 hospitals in Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The program is now expanding to Greenville and Wilmington in eastern North Carolina. North Carolina has more than 200,000 hospital workers, many of whom are appreciating the delicious and nutritious meals prepared by local restaurants.
“While most of us are staying home to eat meals due to social distancing, hospital employees are working around-the-clock to care for growing numbers of coronavirus patients in addition to caring for other patients,” said Julia Wacker, senior vice president, NCHF. “For a contribution of around $15, people can buy a healthy meal that will be delivered to a local hospital worker to fuel their body and feed their soul. The fund also helps local restaurants keep their staff employed and operations running.”
People can purchase meals by going to ncha.org/feedthesoul. Contributions will be accepted as long as the need continues. Each contribution is tax deductible and 100% of each donation will allow local restaurants to prepare meals to feed hospital workers.
“Everyone in North Carolina is affected by COVID-19 in some way, with healthcare workers and the hospitality industry among the hardest hit,” said Dave Feimster, Director of Operations and Executive Chef at Fahrenheit-Charlotte. “We are excited to partner with the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation to help bring nutritious meals to healthcare heroes. To be able to help the local economy and the incredible doctors, nurses and support staff who are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak is a unique opportunity. We are thrilled to be a part of this cause.”
The NCHF opened the emergency response fund in March. To date, it has received contributions of more than $130,000 toward a target of raising $150,000 by the end of May. The healthcare foundation encourages the public to participate so that the program can continue to expand statewide.
Established in 1961, the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the NC Healthcare Association. Its mission is to foster and accelerate the collective impact of hospitals, health systems and community partners to improve the health of North Carolinians.