The meals were delivered by the FealGood Foundation and attorneys from Barasch McGarry personally to nurses and health care workers at Mount Sinai’s Guggenheim Pavilion that services the emergency room on Madison Avenue. The hospital currently treats hundreds of COVID-19 cases both in the hospital and with the help of Samaritan’s Purse across the street camped in Central Park.
Other hospitals receiving the food were in Long Island’s St. Francis in Roslyn, NYU Winthrop in Mineola, St Catherine of Siena in Smithtown, Stony Brook Hospital and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. Police precincts in several boroughs were also brought meals for their officers and members.
Also contributing to the meals was the Retired Sergeants Association of NYC, the state Fraternal Order of Police and Nassau Police Lodge 69.
Janet Rosado, the nurse manager for Mount Sinai, said that while things are starting to improve at the hospital and patient counts are starting to come down, she said they can still use all the support they can get.
“This means a great deal to the staff – it allows them to take time away and sit down with meals, without feeling like they have to go outside or wait on lines and still be on the unit to take care of their patients,” Rosado said. “It shows us the support that we are being given by everyone out there. We’ve received letters that we’ve posted on the unit and these meals we are given really means a lot.”
Rosado said conditions are improving at the hospital.
“It’s getting better – I think we’re moving to a brighter light, we’re starting to ease off on some things – but the staff is really coming together to work together,” Rosado said.
Michael Barasch, an attorney who works with many first responders who have become ill as a result of 9-11, said this is their effort to give back to those who have contributed so much on the front lines of coronavirus pandemic.
“We had this and two other trays go up – we are also delivering to 14 precincts and on Wednesday, we’re going to transit K-9,” Barasch said. “In the subways, crime is up and so many people are down there, so many homeless are down there so the k-9 guys are at risk as well so we will try to feed them as well. I just want people to have a meal rather than eating out of vending machines – it’s the least we can do.”
Barasch has a personal attachment to the crisis, many people he knows have died of coronavirus including some of his clients who had underlying conditions caused by 9-11 inhalation of toxic substances.
“We have about a dozen clients right now who have compromised immune systems, they have respiratory illnesses from 9-11 and they are more at risk than the general population and we’ve also lost about a dozen clients from COVID-19,” Barasch said. “People with COPD can’t fight this illness, severe asthma, with cancer – they have compromised immune systems. So I tell all my clients – stay home because you are at risk.”