Restaurants Find Hope in Delivering Donated Meals to Hospitals - Press "Enter" to skip to content

Restaurants Find Hope in Delivering Donated Meals to Hospitals

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The association worked out the details with Stacey Chait, a senior director at NYU Langone, who said she has been getting about 100 emails a day with offers of food. “It’s really, really wonderful to be going through this crisis but have such an outpouring of support and understanding,” she said.

Because it is cheap, familiar, portable and everywhere, pizza is probably the food most commonly sent during a crisis. It is not, however, ideally suited to this crisis, in which people have been urged to stay at least six feet away from one another.

“Putting a bunch of pizza in a common break room and asking a bunch of people to come in there is not supportive of what we’re asking of them as far as social distancing,” said Dr. Gartland, the Emory Healthcare executive.

The logistics of pizza distancing have become a familiar topic to Scott Weiner, a pizza historian and the founder of a company with the self-explanatory name Scott’s Pizza Tours. Since about a week ago, Mr. Weiner has helped arrange the delivery of more than 2,600 pizzas to 73 clinics, hospitals, shelters and other care centers affected by the outbreak.

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Donations, which by Sunday night had reached nearly $150,000, arrive through the website of his antihunger nonprofit group, Slice Out Hunger. A dozen or so volunteers there arrange for somebody at each care center to accept delivery of three to 50 plain cheese pies. Employees of Slice, an unrelated pizza-delivery app, then place the order with a local pizzeria, which must agree to follow specific anticoronavirus safety precautions.

One of the project’s aims is to support local businesses, and so independent pizzerias are preferred. “But today I ordered from a Pizza Hut because it was the only option,” Mr. Weiner said Sunday.

He conceded that it is challenging to deliver hot food to facilities that are all but sealed off to the world.


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