Utica, NY - Every day our healthcare professionals are fighting on the front lines and saving lives in this coronavirus pandemic. Now, a group of local nurses and doctors came together to save lives in a different way.
Over the last three weeks, nurses and healthcare professionals from the St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth's campuses of MVHS held food drives to donate to Utica Food Pantry for those in need.
“I think everybody jumped at the chance of being part of donating to the community and not just as nurses and healthcare workers on the front lines also just as a human being who care. There's more need at the food bank so I just brainstormed that night and just decided to start it,” said Kely Studer ICU RN as she stands next to Nefertiti Moore, ICU Nurse Tech.
It’s saving lives.
Russell Brooks, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Utica Food Pantry says, “We're just thankful of the donations that we got. We actually, when this crisis started, our shelves were bare.”
Over 1,000 lbs. of food has been donated to the food pantry and there's more on the way. Food pantry personnel couldn't be more thankful.
“After relieving the human suffering people are going through all day long they still find it in their hearts to worry about those who may not have enough food or that aren’t not getting food at home,” said Brooks.
Nurses say that these efforts have brought together both campuses and hope that the donations will inspire others to do the same.
“People in every community across this country are devastated and I think the impact that it's going to make is maybe other people will take us into consideration. It doesn't have to be healthcare, it could be anybody. If you're working and you have an extra $10.00 go to the store pick something up just drop it off or just donate,” added Studer.
“I don't use the term hero or heroic lightly,” says Brooks, “but these people, these men and women are truly, truly heroes.”
Nurse Studer's Facebook page, US Healthcare Workers: Pay It Forward" is where you can join the nurses efforts.
The Utica Food Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 AM to 1 PM. The pantry is fully disinfected and decontaminated once a week. You must wear a mask and gloves to enter.