Published on 5 February 2021
A project to provide freshly cooked food for staff at the William Harvey Hospital has seen more than 1,000 meals delivered.
Volunteers from Ashford Vineyard church are behind the scheme, with a number of professional cooks and local food businesses donating their time and equipment to prepare a range of meals for frontline staff across the hospital.
People from the wider community can support by donating money or leaving personal messages of thanks which are included in with each meal.
Zoe Newman, head of nursing for urgent and emergency care, said the project gave teams a huge boost.
She said: “It makes a real difference to know people are still thinking of us, and have taken the time to prepare something as personal as a hot meal.
“We are just doing our jobs and we don’t expect anything but it is wonderful to receive generous donations like this.
“The pressure on our hospital and our teams is relentless and we are still so busy but this project has made us all feel cared for and cherished by our community and we are all so thankful to Ashford Vineyard and everyone involved.”
The meals are distributed across the hospital, including to teams on the emergency floor, intensive care, medical and surgical wards and therapy support teams.
The church has also received financial donations totalling more than £2,500, which has been used to buy fridges to help store the meals, and microwaves to reheat them. The money is also used to buy ingredients – which are partly sourced through FareShare to help reduce food waste – as well as containers and cutlery.
Nic Kimmance, senior pastor at the church, said they were committed to providing the meals until at least the end of March.
She said: “The stories of appreciation and gratitude coming out from the William Harvey Hospital are heart-warming.
“We are grateful to be able to show our amazing NHS workers that they are valued and loved by our community through this simple act of providing meals.
“We are also so thankful to the army of people from within our community who have come forward to make this possible.”
Anyone who wants to donate to the project can text WHHMEALS 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or give any amount online at https://donorbox.org/whhmeals
To leave a message of thanks for the staff visit https://linktr.ee/whhmeals