‘Utter appreciation’: TMH workers thankful for Farm Share food giveaway

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 8:59 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Not far from the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, a group of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital employees gathered under an unusually hot October sun to sort out 13,000 pounds of food.

For the first time during this pandemic, TMH coordinated with Farm Share to organize a drive-thru food giveaway open to the 5,800 hospital employees, no questions asked.

Manager of Colleague Activities Brandon Hill summed it up this way: “A thank you goes a long ways these days."

Hill says he had heard from a number of employees asking about available resources, including nearby food banks. That sparked the idea to bring the food right to the employee’s parking lot.

“Everyone has really showed up and showed out during this pandemic, so we wanted to take care of the ones taking care of others in the community,” he said.

Farm Share has hosted a number of giveaways in our region during the pandemic, using its vast network to power a major operation. Volunteer Sam Carter said the work is gratifying.

“During a hard time like right now, when they’re tired, they may not have a chance to go to the store,” he said. “This is a chance for the grocery store to come to them.”

That’s a big deal for healthcare workers, who try to avoid any unnecessary risk.

“[It’s] one less thing I have to worry about at the end of the week, one less exposure I have to put myself if so it really makes a difference," Kayla Dawson said. She’s an office coordinator at the urgent care center.

“Working through a pandemic is challenging enough as a fresh graduate," she said. “Times are tough, but getting a little bit of extra help really makes a difference in the week.”

Hill acknowledged that not everyone who works at TMH has a six-figure salary.

“Doctors may not need it, but there a lot that do,” he said.

Hill said after Monday’s successful giveaway, the hospital plans to hold the drive-thru on a monthly basis.

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