It's been good eats lately for physicians, nurses and hospital staff at El Camino Hospital, as local restaurateurs -- seeking to pitch in during a global pandemic -- have been donating hundreds of freshly cooked meals in a show of appreciation.
Starting last month, everything from Belgian waffles and donuts to pastas and Chinese food have poured through the doors of the Mountain View-based hospital to support frontline health care workers, adding culinary contributions to an already expansive list of donations sent by organizations and individual residents.
More than 100 individuals, restaurants and companies have provided meals or food to hospital staff, said Andrew Cope, president of the El Camino Health Foundation. Though many of the donors have chosen to remain anonymous, he said the hospital has received sandwiches, baked goods, salads, sandwiches and food from a wide range of cuisines.
Chef Chu's in Los Altos has been on a delivery blitz, announcing on May 7 that it had served over 1,000 sponsored meals for frontline workers, including El Camino Hospital, Kaiser Permanente and local police departments. Italian food has also been well-represented, with Gumba's in Sunnyvale providing 60 ravioli dinners earlier this month and Doppio Zero in downtown Mountain View making its own large-scale food run for El Camino's emergency department staff in April.
Local restaurants providing donations through the nonprofit Frontline Foods include Zareen's, Blue Line Pizza, Hobee's and Alice's Restaurant in Woodside.
Outside of boxed meals and baked goods, foundation staff say residents have been sending in donations of coffee, gift cards and "encouragement" cards to keep hospital staff in good spirits. Last month, a group of local families launched a fundraising effort to provide laundromat gift cards to all of El Camino's environmental services workers, who are charged with cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and equipment.
The hospital has also been inundated with hundreds of calls from community members and organizations looking to donate either money or personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to better handle patients infected with the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. At its peak, the hospital housed as many as 12 COVID-19 patients, but on Sunday, May 17, did not have any infected patients.
Throughout the crisis, hospital officials say medical staff have had plenty of protective equipment and were not suffering from the shortages reported in places like New York City. The outpouring of support from the community had led to nearly 100 different donations of PPE, some fabricated locally for use at the hospital. El Camino has sought in recent weeks to return to a sense of normalcy, including allowing elective surgeries, following its policy of bracing for a surge in cases by leaving hospital beds open.
Anyone interested in donating can contact the El Camino Health Foundation at [email protected] or 650-940-7154.