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Local Wendy's sends over 100 meals to Sentara Leigh Hospital emergency room and ICU staff

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 06:32:06-04

NORFOLK, Va.— Every day, we’re seeing how the community is reaching out to support front line workers - in big ways and small.

One simple meal makes a difference but Wednesday, Delight Restaurant Group, the owner of a local Wendy’s franchise, sent more than 100 meals to the emergency and ICU staff at Sentara Leigh Hospital.

“As close as we are to the hospital, we wanted to reach out and do something,” says Michael Paine, senior vice president of operations.

Paine says he saw the hospital's video of the daily dance break the ICU unit takes and said the company was inspired by their attitude and moral.

“When we see the sacrifices these folks are putting forward and they’re putting themselves on the line every day, we thought the least we could do would be provide them with a hot fresh meal.”

A short driver later from Sentara Leigh Hospital, the Wendy’s team on Newton Road helped prepare and then offload the meals for hospital staff to wheel into to the workers waiting inside.

"These kind of acts of generosity from the community do a tremendous amount to support our teams and really recharge our batteries,” says Sentara Leigh Hospital President Joanne Inman.

Each sandwich or salad means much more than just a simple meal when the days are longer and the stakes are higher during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When you get to work one day and you realize you forgot your lunch and all of a sudden something shows up that somebody has donated, it makes a huge difference in their day,” says Inman.

Sentara Leigh Hospital says in addition to meals, "thank you" notes are greatly appreciated. Staff members are overjoyed, and they also help patients who are on the road to recovery.

“We would love to get letters from the community that we could hand out to patients, encouraging them to get well and to be steady as they recover inside the hospital so they can make it home as soon as possible,” says Inman.

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