Meals for appreciation of Strathmore health care workers

·2 min read

Frontline health care workers in Strathmore had a bit of extra time following their long shifts last week thanks to an initiative to provide them with a free meal.

The meals were provided by the Calgary Health Foundation, a charity that raises money for health care across the City of Calgary and surrounding communities. The initiative, called Feed the Frontline, started after the organization started to receive requests from the community for ways to show gratitude to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Valerie Ball, director of marketing, communications and community engagement with the organization.

“I think over the last couple of months, health care workers have been tirelessly putting everything that they have into providing care and fighting COVID-19 and ensuring that we are taken well care of,” said Ball. “So, people just really wanted a way to give back and give thanks.”

The meals, from Sunterra Market in Calgary, were offered to staff members working in hospital and community health centres, in Calgary and 16 surrounding communities, said Ball.

“It’s just to give them a night off, after everything they put into work every single day, whether it’s to fill their belly and rejuvenate or maybe spend some more time with their family.”

Feed the Frontline provided health care workers in the region 21,000 meals in total, including 325 meals to health care workers living in Strathmore.

The meals are a welcome relief, said Shayla Noel, a pre-triage screener at the Strathmore Hospital.

“We do get pretty busy and it’s exhausting some days, so to be recognized is just touching,” said Noel. “I know everyone who is being recognized is very appreciative.”

Work in the hospital has been busy, but everyone can still be seen, said Jarrett Fawdry, Strathmore Hospital site manager. “COVID is an old hat now – with our enhanced infection prevention and control measures, we’re very comfortable inside with what we’re doing to protect our patients in the community.”

With meal prep and cooking out of the way for a night, Fawdry said he would spend some extra time with his kids, while Noel said she “might go to bed early.”

Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times