Toronto man delivering meals to anxious hospital workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

A Toronto man is vowing to help feed health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as long the need is there.

Russell Abelido works as an engineer and is able to do his job from home; however he’s recently taken on a new role delivering hundreds of meals to hospital staff.

Abelido said he came up with the idea because he has several loved ones with jobs in healthcare.

“I’ve heard a lot of stories about the stress and anxiety they’re going through and I’m mainly worried about that,” said Abelido.

Abelido created an online campaign called ‘Feed Our Heroes,’ and then reached out to restaurants and hospitals.

In two weeks, he’s raised more than $3,300 and said the companies he’s worked with—Nando’s Canada and Paramount Fine Foods—have offered deep discounts.

He’s delivered nearly 250 meals to Humber River Hospital, as a well as Michael Garron Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital and Women’s College Hospital, and he expects to deliver another 100 meals to Toronto General Hospital on Thursday.

Abelito stirred up his plan thinking about the good feelings he had as a child when his mom gave him food.

“I think that’s something that’s common to all of us, you know during times of crisis, times of suffering, a meal would definitely help out.”

ER nurse says delivery ‘makes us feel appreciated’

“We’re really scared,” said Anna Tran, an emergency room nurse at Humber River Hospital, on Wednesday shortly after accepting dozens of meals.

“A lot of people are able to be with their families, work from home, but we are here to do our work ... It really makes us feel appreciated that the community is thinking about us.”

Abelido said he’s willing to deliver as far west as Oakville and as far east as Oshawa.

He said he’s taking precautions as directed by the hospitals, which includes staying outside and ensuring the meals are individually wrapped.

“They’re risking their lives, they’re out there and it’s just nice to give back to the community,” said Sean Lim, a supervisor at Nando’s Kennedy Road and Highway 401 location.

“Knowing it’s making their lives a little bit easier, giving that strength to keep going, it’s definitely satisfying,” Abelido added.

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