When York businesses learned that NHS staff on the coronavirus frontline had nothing to eat except vending machine food, they decided to act.
And now the doctors, nurses and colleagues on the Covid-19 wards are getting hot food to keep them going through 12-hour shifts.
Victoria Griffin’s sister is a doctor at the hospital.
“Due to the restrictions placed on NHS staff who are working tirelessly in intensive care, the emergency department, and the increasing number of Covid wards that keep springing up on a daily basis, it was emerging that these poor NHS workers were running on a vending machine sandwich,” she said.
Victoria put out an appeal to York businesses and organisations – and within a matter of hours around half a dozen local businesses had got themselves organised and were delivering 50 good quality cooked meals twice a day for all the front line staff at the Covid-19 emergency department at York Hospital.
An honour to be part of it
The first to provide a meal was Andrew Pern from the Star Inn The City. He provided cooked meals from the famous York restaurant’s menu which were received with delight by the frontline staff.
Now around 25 businesses are involved, with one restaurant per day providing meals for the hospital.
Celebrity chef Tommy Banks’ Roots restaurant is one of those providing meals, alongside many other cafés, restaurants and shops.
A key provider is the Supper Collective. Set up by Steve and Julia Holding who own the Pig and Pastry on Bishopthorpe Road, the group of indie food traders were already delivering about 60 meals per day to isolated people in the area.
A fundraising campaign, which aimed to raise £1,000 to help pay for packaging, delivery and ingredients, has now raised an amazing £10,000.
Councillor and Supper Collective volunteer Pete Kilbane said: “It’s an honour to be part of this project and inspiring to see top chefs, cycle couriers, taxi drivers and local volunteers helping to feed some of York’s most vulnerable people and supporting staff in the Coovid-19 wards.
“The Supper Collective is community at its best.”
Cooperation and solidarity
Deliveries go out twice a day. York Collective cycle couriers are a key part of the distribution system – along with taxi firms, individual cyclists and people delivering on foot to the 50 plus vulnerable doorstep deliveries.
Matt Nicholson of York Collective said: “Our strength through cooperation and solidarity is what makes the Supper Collective so effective at supporting the vulnerable and isolated, as well as key workers at York Hospital.
“We at York Collective are humbled by the support we’ve received whilst playing our part in this community response to the crisis. We will continue to strive to offer support to those that need it, for as long as needed.”
Brew and Brownie
The Pig & Pastry
Dough Eyed Pizza
Simon Baynes Wholesaler and Millies Fruit and Veg.
Green Link Cycle Couriers York.
York Collective: Cycle Couriers
Steve and Julia Holding coordinate the Supper Collective with key local volunteers including:-
York’s Cycling Fraternity (too many to mention) who come out every weekend to do the deliveries.
There is also lots of produce donated from various generous sources.
Swan Inn, Pickering
Andrew Pern Star Inn the City
Tommy Banks: Roots