‘Food for Frontline Workers’ comes to Sanford Health

Verizon donation is "more than a meal; it's really a heartfelt thank you"

‘Food for Frontline Workers’ comes to Sanford Health

If you ask any dietitian, they’ll tell you: food is fuel.

Right now, health care workers everywhere face long days filled with uncertainty. They can use all the fuel they can get.

That’s where Verizon’s “Food for Frontline Workers” comes in.

Showing gratitude

Patty Roze is the vice president, public sector sales at Verizon. She says the campaign looks to support both small businesses and health care providers across the nation.

Learn more: How you can help during COVID-19

“It’s just a small token of our appreciation to show we know all of the hard work these guys are doing, and everything that they’re sacrificing,” she added.

Verizon places lunch orders from local restaurants, picks up the tab, and has them delivered to health care workers.

‘It’s more than just a meal’

Roze and her team reached out to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, restaurants Boss’ Pizza & Chicken and Firehouse Subs, asking if they’d take part in the campaign and deliver meals to the workers at Sanford Health.

Firehouse Subs district leader Stefanie Engebretson says helping front-line workers is a big part of the company’s mission.

“We really feel like they could use our support right now. That’s what keeps us going all year long,” she says.

Engebretson adds that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, they’ve donated nearly 2,000 meals to health care providers.

“It’s more than just a meal. It’s really a heartfelt thank you.”

Anna Young is the sales manager at Boss’ Pizza & Chicken. She said many Boss’ employees have relatives in health care, which lead the local restaurant to join the national effort.

“We see what they’ve been through. The long hours, the extra hours, their families being without them as much,” said Young.

Lunch is served … for three weeks

Every Monday through Friday, for three weeks, the two restaurants will donate meals to Sanford Health employees.

“I was expecting 300 meals for one day. Lo and behold, a couple of weeks later, we were talking and I learned it was 300 meals for three weeks. I’m like ‘oh my gosh!'” laughed director of volunteers at Sanford Health Nona Bixler.

By the time the three weeks are over, nearly 4,500 meals will have been donated.

Related: Panda Express donates masks and meals to Sanford workers

Each day when front-line staff at Sanford Health clock in, they don’t know what they’ll face. But, for three weeks, one thing they can count on is the gift a free lunch.

Liz Wheeler, senior director of operations at Sanford Imagenetics, says the smallest things “sometimes mean the most.”

“Having lunch brought to our health care workers and front-line workers is very, very supportive.”

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Posted In Community, COVID-19, People & Culture, Sioux Falls