By Haley Herfurth
A campaign to feed frontline health care workers caring for COVID-19 patients is once again in action at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is a partnership between UAB Advancement and the UAB Department of Food and Nutrition Services, with donations from the community.
The campaign’s first phase, which launched April 1, 2020, raised more than $76,000 and served more than 16,000 meals purchased from those donations in just over four weeks; following the campaign pause, the remaining $21,000 gift balance was used to serve nearly 4,000 additional meals in the following months. Since April, Meals for Heroes has served more than 22,000 meals.
“The first iteration of Meals for Heroes last year showed us just how supportive our community can be of our health care workers,” said Charlotte Beeker, associate vice president for Food, Nutrition and Guest Services at UAB Medicine. “We’re excited to welcome that support again.”
The first phase also saw a donation of $10,000 from UAB Football head coach Bill Clark and wife Jennifer, along with The Heart of Alabama Chevy Dealers, which was used to place orders with local restaurants and caterers in an effort to help support community partners and bolster Birmingham businesses — many of which provided a total of 19,000-plus in-kind meal donations. UAB Food Services worked with businesses to ensure specific food safety guidelines were met, and also served more than 5,800 meals to compassionate caregivers.
One-time or recurring monetary gifts can be made online, and local restaurants that are interested in donating individual, pre-wrapped items such as personal pan pizzas or boxed salads or sandwiches or have questions can contact UAB Department of Food and Nutrition Services at 205-934-4718 or Charlotte Beeker at firstname.lastname@example.org.