More than 2,000 meals have been donated to the staffs at Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester and Beverly Hospital in April.
The meals have been delivered as the staffs at the hospitals — which are part of the Beth Israel Lahey Health network — work round the clock to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Kyle Reilly, director of marketing and communications for Beth Israel Lahey.
Meanwhile, Salem Hospital staff has received more than 5,000 meals over the past several weeks.
The hospital has received an “overwhelming volume of food donations” — many from North Shore residents and businesses — and the meals and sweet treats keep coming, according to a hospital spokesperson.
“We’ve been amazed and inspired by the generosity of the community around us,” said Kate Bailey, a development officer at North Shore Medical Center who is managing food donation inquiries and deliveries for Salem Hospital. “In these times of uncertainty, we are reminded that we will get through this together.”
The donated food ranges from pizza and sandwiches to custom cookies and pints of ice cream. And many of the meal deliveries are organized through the nonprofit Feed the Frontlines North Shore, which began soliciting meals and donations in late March, mirrored upon similar efforts underway in New York City and Boston.
The group, so far, says it has delivered more than 800 meals and raised more than $40,000 for essential workers and local hospitals, including Beverly and Salem hospitals.
In the last three weeks, Dr. Julie Smail, of North Shore Physicians Group, and her daughter Ashley, on behalf of Feed the Frontlines, supplied 525 meals to Salem Hospital from Viga Italian Eatery in Boston.
Smail, who lives in Hamilton, is spearheading the nonprofit’s efforts along with a large extended family and friends. Earlier, she said it was a Zoom videoconference call several weeks ago with relatives that launched a local effort.
Feed the Frontlines also reports 307 meal deliveries to Beverly Hospital, between April 3 and 24.
The Salem-based Sailing Heals organization, along with the Richard family and One Boston Day, also delivered 350 meals to Salem Hospital on April 15 and have made additional deliveries since then.
Other deliveries, the hospital said, have come from Treadwell’s Ice Cream in Peabody, which made a surprise visit with homemade ice cream; Christopher’s Cafe in Lynn helped employees celebrate Easter with a special delivery; and Marblehead residents Keri Edmonds McDonald, Autumn Moran and Maureen Kay mobilized friends and neighbors in their town to order food from local restaurants. Those eateries — Minos Roast Beef, Manhattan Sandwich Company, Café Vesuvius, Marblehead Community Store, and Soall Bistro — all either donated their meals or supplemented orders with extra meals and desserts.
Olympic Roofing in Topsfield has also made multiple deliveries of lunches to the staff at Salem Hospital, and plans to return again on May 7. They have also delivered hundreds of lunches to the Lahey Outpatient Center in Danvers.
And on Thursday, Chris Keohane of Danvers, who runs the Wenham Tea House but which has transitioned into a meal delivery service called Freshly Delivered during the pandemic, stopped by Beverly Hospital with more than 50 meals for staff.
The past three weeks, he has delivered more than 600 meals to organizations on the North Shore, including frontline health care workers. The plan, he said, is to pivot to delivering meals to EMTs and frontline workers in nursing homes. Keohane said he matches donations to the meals program made through the tea house website.
“We have a good system going to ensure the health and safety of our donors, delivery workers and recipients,” noted Bailey, who ensures that all hospital employees and departments benefit from food donations on a rotating basis.
She said the hospital works with donors to schedule deliveries between shift changes to ensure staff members can move quickly through building entrances, and also to receive those donations outside the building. The food is then brought inside and the employees slated to receive the meals come down.
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