Caterer in West Philadelphia provides free meals to local hospitals on front line of coronavirus fight

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- 12th Street Catering in West Philadelphia was about to shut down. All of their events were canceled and the owner had no work for her staff; then a request came in.

"One of our biggest clients, United States Liabilities Insurance Group, Tom Nerney called me and said if they sponsored it, would we make food for the medical staff," explained Michele Leff, the catering company's owner.

Now every day her staff gets in at 6 a.m. to prepare 500 meals to deliver to Temple University Hospital and Jefferson Health.

"Yesterday was flank steak with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts," said Leff. "Today we went for an Asian theme with sesame soy chicken."

At the end of their shifts, the hospital workers take the meals home. Each bag has enough to feed a family of four.

"When they get done their shift they're exhausted, they're emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted," said Leff.

"We know it's been a really hard day for them, what we thought would be a really good idea would be to prepare dinners for families."

It's something as simple as a home-cooked meal, but for the workers on the front lines of this pandemic, it's simply one less thing to worry about.

"Really, in this intense environment that we're in, to be able to go home and have a home cooked meal given to you is a huge help for our employees and their families," said Jeff Doucette, the Chief Nursing Officer at Jefferson Health.

Leff said she's hoping to be able to provide the service to more hospitals as well.

In order to do so, she'll need more donations to 12th Street Catering in order to accommodate more requests.
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