Lamberto Layson is part of the Bridgepoint Food Services team that prepares 1,200 meals per week for local Meals on Wheels programs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives at work and at home. One thing it hasn’t changed is the dedication and heart that employees in Bridgepoint’s kitchen bring to preparing nutritious and delicious meals—from scratch—not only for patients in the hospital, but for older adults living in the community.
The kitchen at Bridgepoint provides approximately 1,200 meals per week for community programs including WoodGreen Community Services’ Meals on Wheels, East York Meals on Wheels, Spring Senior Care’s Community Wellness Meal Program, and Mid-Toronto Community Services’ Meals on Wheels.
“I’m very proud of the work that we do in partnership with community organizations to supply meals for our community,” says Karen Foster, Director of Support Services at Bridgepoint. “Nutrition is such a basic need for everyone’s health and well-being. This service is one way we are continuing Bridgepoint’s legacy of providing care for people in need.”
Karen says the COVID-19 pandemic gives this service new meaning. “I think it’s more important than ever. We know that seniors are vulnerable to becoming seriously ill from the virus. Because of COVID-19, some seniors are experiencing more isolation and have difficulty getting good, nutritious food without putting themselves at risk.”
Salim Aratia works in the kitchen and one of his roles is packaging up the food to be distributed by the volunteer drivers. He says there’s a sense of satisfaction from providing this service. “It’s good that we’re able to continue providing this food for people during this difficult time,” he says. “We’re ready to help in any way we can.”
The team in the kitchen have made some adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety, including physical distancing between employees. Volunteer drivers from partner organizations now wear masks and go through a screening process when picking up the food at the hospital. These are small changes to make for the hundreds of Meals on Wheels clients who rely on the safe delivery of this food every day.
The Sinai Health Heroes story series highlights our people and their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.