Calgary caterer prepares thank you turkey meals for hospital staff

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A Calgary catering company is working with Alberta Health Services to deliver Thanksgiving meals to frontline hospital staff.

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Devour Catering owner J’Val Shuster said the initiative aims to encourage healthcare workers who are experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that has strained ICUs across the country. ‘Alberta.

“It has been a very long journey for a lot of people. The majority of people have been doubly vaccinated, the majority of people are on restrictions, the majority of people want things to get better, ”said Shuster of his company on a busy prep afternoon on Saturday.

“(We) want to show our support and show our care.”

The company expects between 225 and 250 meals to be delivered to nurses, doctors and other frontline medical staff on Sunday. The traditional turkey dinner includes mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, roasted vegetables, carrot soup and an assortment of holiday desserts.

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The meals were purchased by donors as part of a Devour initiative called “I See You ICU”.

Devour Catering chef Padma Adiwibawa prepares Thanksgiving dinners on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
Devour Catering chef Padma Adiwibawa prepares Thanksgiving dinners on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Gavin Young / Postmedia

“Each dinner is also accompanied by a thank you card with a message inside. Everyone who bought a meal included a message saying they wanted to go to the worker, ”Shuster said.

The initiative is part of a flood of food donations pledged to Alberta healthcare workers from other businesses and individuals. In a Twitter thread on Friday, Alberta Health Services said the provincial authority was grateful for the donations but could not accept them.

“Unfortunately, our hospitals and staff are currently unable to accept food donations due to food safety protocols and hospital restrictions during the pandemic,” a tweet from AHS read.

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Shuster said his company communicated regularly with AHS to coordinate food deliveries.

The health authority said in a statement on Saturday that it was making arrangements for staff to safely receive prepared meals this week, but that it was arranging for future donations of prepackaged meals from the company to be collected. Offsite.

“Please consider redirecting your monetary gesture to one of the 69 foundations, trusts or health workers in Alberta,” the AHS statement read.

“Food banks in Alberta can also accept food donations, and we ask you to pass on your kindness to them in honor of the frontline staff. “

After a wave of support that saw thousands of meals purchased, Devour Catering suspended donations to the program. Shuster said she would never have anticipated the volume of donations and said it shows Calgarians are looking for ways to encourage healthcare workers.

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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