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Program delivers meals to Puget Sound health care workers on the front lines


Hospitals across the state are dealing with an influx of coronavirus cases, and it’s keeping a lot of health care workers busy with wall to wall patients, so busy they’re not really able to eat in some circumstances.

Carl Coryell-Martin and Patrick Halstead joined with Herbfarm restaurant in Woodinville to step up and help. They’re raising money on GoFundMe to deliver 4,000 multi-course meals to health care workers all across the Puget Sound area.

“So one thing to clarify is Patrick and I were both just volunteers out of the community, and we were really thinking about what can we do … to help keep our health care system up. And there’s also all these restaurants that we love in the Seattle area that are really losing a lot of business,” Coryell-Martin said. “Our thought was, let’s try to solicit donations from the community to buy meals to deliver to the hospitals.”

“Patrick had a great relationship with Herbfarm. Initially we raised $750 from our friends to do 35 meals, and then slowly escalated it out to the point where we have this GoFundMe, which just crossed 100k. We’ve delivered 3,000 meals so far,” he added.

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As we try to find ways to give back to our communities, health care workers, and to the businesses that we love, this is one way you can do all of that at once. Not only are you helping a local business, but you’re helping get these meals to hospital workers.

How have the health care workers reacted?

“I get these messages that just make me cry. We got this lovely message from a nurse at Overlake yesterday, and she said that she’d worked 17 consecutive night shifts without a break or weekend, and she didn’t have time to prepare a meal. So she came in to work having saltines and like vending machine cheese for dinner,” Coryell-Martin said.

“She told the story about how the the ingredients of the meal, like the trout chowder, reminded her of fishing with her grandfather, because she can’t see her grandfather right now, … and the herbs in the salad reminded her of spending time in the herb garden with her grandmother. … And we gave her the sort of emotional connection with her family as part of her break.”

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At the moment, they’re thinking about how to take such a program national, just hoping to make life easier for health care workers in these trying times.

“We’re thinking about how we coordinate and support our entire nation’s health care systems and not just the region, and thinking about how we can work with more hospitals. I want to feed every health care worker dinner every night for them and their family. We’re a long way from that,” he said. “But can we take this concern about ‘how are we going to eat’ off of their minds so they can focus on keeping us safe is my priority.”

To support the GoFundMe, head here.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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