COVID-19

Downtown Surrey BIA kick starts meal program to help restaurants, hospital workers

Association budgeted $3,000 for the first meals

The Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association is partnering with the Surrey Hospital Foundation and restaurants in the area for a meal program.

The DSBIA, according to a release Wednesday (March 25), has “designed a rapid response program to help struggling restaurant businesses in its region at the same time saying thank you to the employees working long hours at Surrey Memorial Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

READ ALSO: Surrey Memorial’s biocontainment facility playing big role in B.C.’s COVID-19 response, March 6, 2020

Elizabeth Model, DSBIA CEO, told the Now-Leader that the association’s staff phoned most of its membership for restaurants that are open, available for delivery and have the capacity to deliver and handle this.

Through that, Model said the DSBIA budgeted $3,000 to kick start the meal program.

The meals will be purchased from the participating restaurants in the hospital district, “thereby supporting the struggling local businesses as well as thanking the hospital staff,” the release reads.

Model said that so far, the four restaurants that are set up for delivery and are open seven days a week, “are committed to longer hours in order to service nighttime and early morning workers.”

“We know, and we understand, that it’s really tough time for everybody right now, but our frontline workers really need, and our first responders, have to be supported in the efforts that they’re making with their life,” Model said. “Yes, they’re paid for what they do, but also it’s the heart and soul of the community.”

Jane Adams, Surrey Hospital Foundation president and CEO, said the foundation will be administering the program, adding the program shows the outpouring of support shown to the Surrey Memorial team is indicative of the love the city has for its hospital.

“Health care workers are a precious and finite resource,” Adams said. “Hospitalized COVID-19 patients need supportive care delivered by highly specialized teams. It’s heart-warming to see how quickly both the DSBIA and our neighbours in the food and restaurant business jumped at the chance to help our front-line people.”

READ ALSO: ‘A finite resource’: Surrey Hospital Foundation creates COVID-19 response fund, March 24, 2020

Model added, “We know that the hundreds of employees of the hospital; doctors, nurses, office staff, cleaning crews, clerks, respiratory therapists are working extremely long hours under very stressful conditions. Buying a meal for one of these incredible employees is a small way of saying thanks for their dedication to care provision.”

According to the DSBIA, just $20 will purchase meals for two workers.

For businesses interested in participating, they can email yolanda.bouwman@fraserhealth.ca.

The Surrey Hospital Foundation also has created a COVID-19 Response Fund that can be found at surreyhospitalfoundation.com/covid19. It’s mean to help purchase equipment for COVID-19 care as well as health and wellness initiatives for frontline workers.

READ ALSO: White Rock restaurateurs finding light during ‘dark time’ of COVID-19 pandemic, March 25, 2020



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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