HOMETOWN HERO: Montgomery County ER nurse serving meals to community in free time

POTTSTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- An emergency room nurse in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania is using her free time to serve food to those in her community.

Mindi Hoagey has a long day ahead of her. She and her friend Bill spent the morning making meals to give out to kids at Kingdom Life Church in Pottstown.

"Food touches the soul. If it's food that's just taken care of and served with dignity and love then the kids just respond to that," said William Mabery, who owns Flavor's Deli -- a sandwich stand next to Hoagey and her sister's coffee shop, Honey's Homebrewed Cafe.

When the pandemic began, they quickly realized a gap in the community.

"We ended up finding there was a need for children to have meals," said Hoagey.

Her day, however, isn't over when the last meal is served. She's still scheduled to work a 12-hour shift at Pottstown Hospital, where she's an emergency room nurse.

"Feeling like I could fall asleep on the floor but after I start working, it's just an adrenaline thing," said Hoagey.

Tomorrow, she'll wake up and do it all over again.

"Superwoman. Listen I rely on her. Look we come in, we grab coffee and we move," said Mabery.
My work thinks I'm crazy at the emergency room. They're like, 'You're going over to the coffee shop?' And yes I am because this is our baby you know as well," said Hoagey.

She says her dream is for her business to take off and for her to one day own her own cafe with her sister, Melanie McKnight. But even when that happens, she says she doesn't think she could leave her life as a nurse behind.

"I've learned compassion from my sister. You tell people it's going to be ok. You're there for them. Give them words of encouragement," said McKnight.

McKnight says Hoagey is her hero for her unrelenting need to serve, always with a smile. She thinks their mom, Honey, would be proud.

"Well we kind of specialize in good coffee so that helps," said McKnight.

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