Community Feeds ER Staff, Supports Eateries

Lanning Taliaferro

This article originally appeared on the Nyack-Piermont Patch

PIERMONT, NY — With the number of cases of new coronavirus climbing in Rockland, emergency room, ICU and other front-line staff at Montefiore Nyack Hospital will be getting restaurant-quality meals delivered through a program organized by the Piermont Chamber of Commerce and the Piermont Civic Association.

Those meals will actually be provided by Piermont's restaurants. To pay for them, they've started a drive for donations on GoFundMe.

The project addresses both the acute needs of the hospital's already-overworked staff and the businesses burdened by the shutdown order to slow the spread of the outbreak.

Due to the infectiousness of the COVID-19 virus and risks to medical caregivers, the meals must be individually boxed. The hospitals are not accepting "family style" shared dishes.

"Furthermore, as personal protection equipment (PPE) is limited, caregivers must spend hours in protective gear without eating. When they finally get a break and get to remove the gear, they are dehydrated and hungry," the organizers said. "Our meals meet their immediate needs and help them feel supported by our community."

It's a way to contribute to the effort to care for the hospital workers who are bearing the brunt of the battle and the hard-working folks at these local restaurants during this once-in-a-lifetime crisis, organizers said.

Visit the GoFundMe page here.

They're very happy with the response they've gotten so far. In one day, they have raised $4,170.

"We will be starting the meals on Monday," said Peter Helou, president of the chamber of commerce. "Our fire department will be doing the deliveries. We will be providing approximately 50 meals per day, with those meals being provided by one to two restaurants in Piermont per day, Monday through Friday."

Rockland has more than 1,000 reported cases, and there have been seven deaths from the new coronavirus, officials announced Wednesday afternoon. An order was issued mandating that people who have tested positive isolate themselves; it carries a $2,000 fine for noncompliance.

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