Imperial students Suraj Joshi and Jagruti Gohil are bringing together local restaurants and delivery drivers to give free meals to NHS staff.
The initiative, called Feed The Workers, has so far seen over 350 meals delivered to healthcare staff who are working to treat patients affected by COVID-19. Four hospitals have received food, including Ealing Hospital and Northwick Park Hospital.
Suraj and Jagruti, who are both final year Medicine students, are being helped by two other Imperial medics, Haaris Rahim and Abhinaya Chandrashekar. With over a week of deliveries already planned, the team work together to source food from local restaurants and caterers, contact hospitals and arrange prompt meal deliveries for NHS staff.
“NHS staff shouldn’t go hungry”
Suraj explains: “My friend’s mum is the inspiration behind Feed The Workers - she was really grateful to the NHS for taking care of her so well recently and wanted to say thanks by offering them free meals.
"We select restaurants and caterers who may be struggling during this time, support them to have income and at the same time, can help the NHS." Suraj Joshi
“After discussing it, we thought it was a great way to support our fantastic NHS and wanted to widen this idea out to other hospitals during this difficult time. NHS staff shouldn’t go hungry.”
Jagruti said: “As final year Medicine students, our colleagues, friends, teachers and supervisors are now out on the frontline, and we wanted to offer help before we join them. NHS workers are working very long hours during COVID-19 and struggle to get food because of canteen and restaurant closures. Also, because of the PPE requirements of COVID-19, staff working in intensive care units find it difficult to leave the wards. By giving direct meals to hospitals, we ensure that NHS staff have one less thing to worry about and that they are well fed and energised.”
The Feed The Workers team launched their initiative just six days ago and have already raised over £7,000. The team’s initial target was to raise £250, which they met within ten minutes of asking for funds. Suraj and Jagruti have now set a new target of raising £25,000 and want to deliver 5,000 meals to NHS workers.
Supporting local businesses
Suraj adds: “It’s a win-win situation. We’re able to support local businesses who have experienced a drop in their income because of COVID-19. We select restaurants and caterers who may be struggling during this time, support them to have income and at the same time, can help the NHS. We’re trying to benefit as many people as we can.”
Jagruti says: “So far, NHS staff have been able to eat Indian, Mexican and Italian cuisine (pizza, of course!). We try and arrange taxi deliveries as well so that we minimise exposure to the food and so that it remains safe to eat. We have ordered a personalised cake to be delivered to staff at Northwick Park Hospital for Thursday. We really want to help beat this pandemic.”
Over the coming week, Feed The Workers will be sending food deliveries to Hillingdon Hospital, St George’s Hospital and Watford General Hospital.
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