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Nourishing the Heroes: Supporting Hospital First Responders with Sustenance and Gratitude

During COVID, hospital first responders tirelessly worked on the front lines. One meaningful way for our community to be appreciative was to provide them with nourishment. I am writing this article with the hope that it inspires someone somewhere to do what I did. We should always attempt to thank the folks who keep us safe.

There are many ways to express your gratitude with food. You can establish a meal delivery program where local restaurants can donate or deliver food to hospitals. You could organize potlucks and bring home-cooked meals to hospitals. You could collaborate with food trucks, catering companies to organize food deliveries.

Last summer, with the financial support and help of 15 moms in my neighborhood, I organized food delivery to physicians, nurses and custodial staff in local hospitals. Restaurants worked with me on the price, menus and quantities and were quite accommodating! In some cases, the restaurant delivered the food directly to the hospital and in other cases, I picked up and dropped the food. The key was to be organized and to coordinate the effort in advance with a member of the hospital staff. Once I had that name, coordination becomes wayyy easier!

Here are all the details you will need to do something similar!

What to order?

Several cuisines are good for takeout. Choose both vegetarian and meat items to accommodate everyone. Ask in advance if gluten-free is needed or if anyone needs special accomodations. Ask for their catering menu and ask questions regarding the quantity. Scroll down for ideas.

How much to order? How much will it cost?

I would suggest smaller orders - Food for 25 people because it is much for manageable. Here is Los Angeles, it will cost you approximate $200 (including tips and taxes) to serve about 25 people. Several restaurants opt to deliver for free or throw in extra if they know of your charity initiatives.

Here are some ideas, based on the work that I did during the pandemic:

Indian Food

Medium tray of Chicken Tikka Masala

Medium try of Mutter Paneer

Medium tray of Daal Makhani

Rice for 25 people

15 Naan Breads, cut in 4 halves

Mediterranean Food from a Chicken-forward restaurant

Small Mediterranean-style vegetarian primevera pasta

Spicy Garlic Chicken Fettuccine pasta with vegetables

Chicken Feast (2 large chicken)

Four large side orders of falafels, rice and extra sauces - Lemon Basil and Spicy Lemon Garlic

Pita bread

Mediterranean veggie variety of tabouli, hummus, potato salad, greek coleslaw, grape leaves, feta cheese and more falafels

Chinese Food

Chow Mein

Fried Rice

Kung Pao Chicken

Black Pepper Angus Steak

Pizza for 25

Two LARGE cheese pizzas

Six LARGE pepperoni pizza pies

Two LARGE vegetarian pizza pies

3 soda bottles, 2 liters each


Coffee for 25 people

1/2 fruit platter for 20 people

8 vegetarian burritos with eggs and potatoes

4 strictly vegetarian burritos with vegetables (no eggs)

13 egg, bacon and potatoes

All of them to be cut into half pieces so there would be a total of 50 half-burritos, easier to eat.

Remember that you may be vegan or vegetarian but the people you are serving may not be. So while you should include healthier, vegetarian options, be mindful of other diets. In the end, you want them to eat and enjoy their food and continue to work hard to keep all of us safe.

#giveback #togetherwecan


Green Sea Shells is all about the joyful pursuit of happiness. I believe healthy living is happy living. I think we all need to do our part to serve our community and our planet. Subscribe to the blog updates and follow me on social media platforms on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter.

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