Dozens of warm meals were delivered to Surrey Memorial Hospital frontline workers Thursday (April 2).
Aria Banquet Hall & Convention Centre and Channel Punjabi provided a “traditional Punjabi meal” as a way to help relieve some stress the workers are going through to fight COVID-19.
Pary Singh Dulai, manager at Channel Punjabi and the project co-ordinator for the meals, said the group was thinking of how they could help through this whole pandemic.
“We thought frontline workers, health care workers, they’re the ones at the most risk right now,” said Dulai.
He added that he and the volunteers were feeling a bit anxious leading up to the food drop off.
“It’s a big thing putting it together in a couple of hours because we want the food to be warm,” Dulai said. “Now, I think it’s a really great feeling that we’re doing our little, teeny, weeny part to kind of help out.”
Ricky Sanghera, from Aria, said the convention centre is “happy” to help out in whatever way they could.
“We wanted to really get involved and kind of show our appreciation for all the essential workers. We found that, obviously, using our kitchen and our staff — and we had a lot of volunteers that turned out today as well — we found that this was kind of a way for us to kind of get involved and show our appreciation and say a big thank you to all the essential workers that are here,” he said.
“I know it’s really small in the grand scheme of it, with this fight against this virus, but every little step counts.”
Surrey Hospital Foundation CEO and president Jane Adams said “all support is wonderful at this time.”
Surrey Hospital Foundation president and CEO speaks in front of Surrey Memorial Hospital about all of the donations the foundation has received since starting its COVID-19 Response Fund. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
The Surrey Hospital Foundation created a COVID-19 Response Fund to help purchase equipment for COVID-19 care as well as health and wellness initiatives for frontline workers, such as a meal plan.
“We will feed about 30,000 (meals to) frontline workers and support workers at Surrey (Memorial) Hospital and Jim Pattison Outpatient Centre this month alone and we want to carry that on until the end of the pandemic,” she said.
Adams added that the options are “pretty limited or non-existent and we need to keep them healthy.”
Adams said the restaurants and wholesalers working with the hospital foundation are “either providing food for free or at significant reductions.”
Since starting the COVID-19 Response Fund, the foundation has received more than $70,000 in cash donations, as well as in-kind donations.
However, Adams said the COVID-19 pandemic will likely get worse before it gets better.
“With the number of COVID-19 cases steadily increasing each day, we will need more resources to support the Surrey Memorial Hospital, our frontline workers and our communities as this pandemic progresses,” she said. “The best way for people to help is to contribute cash to our COVID-19 Response Fund so that resources can be deployed where they are most needed.”
To donate to the fund, visit surreyhospitalfoundation.com/covid19.
The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association also partnered with the Surrey Hospital Foundation and restaurants in the area for a meal program, donating $3,000 to kick start the program.
For businesses interested in participating, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.