A Galway business has provided some 4,200 free lunches to nurses and frontline staff working at University Hospital Galway since March 15.
Mr Waffle located opposite the hospital has been able to prepare and deliver the lunches thanks to crowdfunding initiatives through GoFundMe and Feed The Heroes as well as its staff’s volunteer efforts.
Owner of Mr Waffle, Kevin Nugent, said: “The nurses and frontline staff in UHG have supported my business since the day it opened and I am very grateful for their support throughout the years, so when the outbreak happened I wanted to give back and support the frontline heroes by supplying them with lunches each day.
“The business has been closed since the 15th of March but we have still managed to provide lunches thanks to our GoFundMe and Feed The Heroes. My incredible staff volunteered to help but since the restrictions it has been only myself and Leroy, our executive chef, who have taken turns to prepare and deliver the lunches.
“The days can be long working on your own but it’s pale in comparison to what the frontline staff have to deal with on a daily basis. We have provided 4,200 lunches since.”
Feed The Heroes, established just four weeks ago, in response to Ireland’s Covid-19 emergency, has delivered 55,000 meals to critical frontline workers nationwide from Letterkenny to Bantry. Enabled by the support of more than 15,500 donors who have contributed more than €933,000 to date, the daily meal delivery is often the only break for the critical frontline workers as they work long hours in challenging conditions.
Feed The Heroes Fund founder, Cian O’Flaherty said; “It is incredible to think that only four weeks ago we kicked off this campaign with little more than good sentiment and some takeaway phone numbers. During that time our meal deliveries have become much more than just food. It has become a social connection, a reminder that despite being physically distant we are all connected.
“It is a real privilege to be able to support critical frontline workers in this way. Our objective is to continue to do so for the duration of Ireland’s emergency response. We remain entirely reliant on donations and the generosity of the Irish people. The support has been amazing to date and we would ask people to continue to support in whatever way they can. With each meal costing approximately €7 to prepare and deliver even the smallest amount can make a real difference.”