Support continues for meals service to hospital workers during coronavirus pandemic

Team effort: Josh Slade receives a helping hand from patient flow nurse manager Sandy Lee to unpack the donated family meals. Photo: supplied

Team effort: Josh Slade receives a helping hand from patient flow nurse manager Sandy Lee to unpack the donated family meals. Photo: supplied

Momentum is growing behind a community-led initiative to provide hospital staff with meals.

Wauchope District Memorial Hospital staff received 47 family meals on Tuesday, April 14, while 86 family meals were delivered to Port Macquarie Base Hospital workers the same day.

Slade Refrigerated Transport director Josh Slade reached out to businesses and suppliers and the idea to support hospital staff with meals became a reality amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Business support ranges from donations of money and food to discounted prices.

"Every time we ask we've always been given something back and people are ringing us now," Mr Slade said.

"We are lucky enough to have a lot of people helping."

The XS Food team is cooking the meals.

Morgans has given $2000, Steggles is providing heavily discounted prices for chicken, while Bago Vineyards is also supporting the meals service.

Hokubee Australia and IGA have been supporters right from the start.

Family-sized meals are delivered to Port Macquarie Base Hospital and Wauchope District Memorial Hospital on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The clinical staff place their orders and Slade Refrigerated Transport handles the food transport and deliveries.

Helping out: The initiative has received the support of local businesses XS Food, Ken Little's Fruit and Vegetables, Hokubee Australia, Hastings Co-op IGA, Morgans Financial Advisors and others. Pictured are financial planners at Morgans Michael Sheridan and Greg Harris with Josh Slade. Photo: supplied

Helping out: The initiative has received the support of local businesses XS Food, Ken Little's Fruit and Vegetables, Hokubee Australia, Hastings Co-op IGA, Morgans Financial Advisors and others. Pictured are financial planners at Morgans Michael Sheridan and Greg Harris with Josh Slade. Photo: supplied

Hastings Macleay clinical network cordinator and Port Macquarie Base Hospital general manager Catharine Death said the family meal initiative had lifted spirits and boosted morale.

"Our frontline staff are coping remarkably well and a big part of that resilience is coming from the support they are receiving from our community," Ms Death said.

"The family meals initiative has been a tremendous morale booster, along with the morning teas provided by Frontline Needs Our Help.

"It's a connection to our community that keeps us strong and grateful.

"We also know there are many in our community who are in great emotional pain at the moment due to loss of income, opportunity and contact with loved ones.

"We are all here for each other and when the pandemic is over, we will be a stronger community for the new friendships we have formed under the most difficult of circumstances.

"This is also an opportunity to thank the many businesses who are supporting our frontline teams. We know you are also doing it tough, which makes your commitment to our people even more special.

"Thank you, quite simply, feels completely inadequate but please know your support means the world to our dedicated staff."

Businesses interested in supporting the meals service campaign should contact Josh Slade on 0477 967 372.

Pumpkins (about 100kg) were donated by Jim Mobbs from Bago Vineyard.

Pumpkins (about 100kg) were donated by Jim Mobbs from Bago Vineyard.

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