‘Food4Staff’ Helps Feed Hospital Staff During COVID-19 Pandemic
Washington Township residents John Chirico and his mother, Maria Mangiamele, recently launched Food4Staff as a way to help healthcare workers get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
They say the idea came to them after seeing pictures of exhausted doctors and nurses on social media. The Facebook group collects donations from community members and purchases food from local restaurants, who, in turn, deliver the food with a thank-you letter to area healthcare workers as a symbol of gratitude.
“Together, we can ‘flatten the curve,’ while providing meals for our hospital workers and at the same time keep our small, local restaurants busy,” John says. “We want to help those on the ‘front lines’ to at least not worry about feeding themselves. We hope to give them something they can look forward to.”
Since last Thursday, Food4Staff has fed more than 1,200 workers across several area hospitals, including Jefferson Health’s three New Jersey-based hospitals in Cherry Hill, Stratford, and Washington Township, as well as Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Through Food4Staff, Sollena’s Pizza’s Loredana and Giuseppe Castiglione have delivered several meals to Jefferson Washington Township Hospital. “In Italy, we use food to show those around us that we care,” Loredana says. “We thank healthcare workers for their service in this difficult time.”
In just one week, Food4Staff has raised more than $10,000. Maria says it is rewarding to help those who are struggling, adding that people are still making a point to donate even though they are “scared and don’t know what’s going to happen in their financial situations.”
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital staff at a COVID-19 testing site enjoying breakfast provided by Food4Staff.