There has been a major outpouring of support for medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, from parades to gifts and donated meals. Two fundraisers out of Bellport have donated over $10,000 in …
There has been a major outpouring of support for medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, from parades to gifts and donated meals. Two fundraisers out of Bellport have donated over $10,000 in meals to workers at Long Island Community Hospital in neighboring East Patchogue, with food from Bellport and East Patchogue restaurants.
It started with a group of friends that resident Mary Schultz got together to try and help the workers on the front lines at Long Island Community Hospital. They purchased some heroes for the workers, and then decided to try and expand the initiative. Schultz and her husband, Thomas Schultz, started a GoFundMe with a goal of $5,500. The money would go toward feeding hospital workers with food from Bellport restaurants on Main Street, in an effort to support both groups who are struggling during the pandemic.
“Seeing images of health care workers with wounds and abrasions on their faces from their masks was so moving,” Thomas Schultz said. “I so want to help them and if our meals provide a sense of normalcy, even if it is for a few short moments, then I am satisfied.”
The fundraiser quickly met its goal, and the Schultz family has been making deliveries in batches each weekend for three weeks. The meals, which were full and nutritionally balanced, came from four Main Street restaurants: The Bellport, Cafe Castello, Avino’s Italian Table and Porters on the Lane.
“We are genuinely moved by the outpouring of support from those in our community wishing to express their gratitude for our caregivers,” said Richard T. Margulis, president and CEO of Long Island Community Hospital. “Tom and Mary Schultz have done an amazing job of organizing and delivering carefully planned healthy lunches for our staff from four great local restaurants, including Avino’s Italian Table, Bellport Restaurant, Café Castello and Porters on the Lane. He continues to check in with us regularly to see how we can better serve our staff, including deliveries for those working over the weekend as well.”
A similar initiative is in the works with the Bellport Chamber of Commerce, which donated $5,000 to purchase meals from restaurants in the community. Some of the spots included are Avino’s Italian Table, Painters, Porters on the Lane and Cerillo’s.
“I’m happy to be representing the Bellport chamber, who has allocated a generous donation of $5,000 to coordinate with our local restaurants and food providers to prepare and deliver meals to the heroes on the front lines at LI Community Hospital,” said Merri Avino, board member on the chamber and leader of this initiative. “It has been amazing to see the community coming together to try and support each other and pay it forward in these unprecedented times.”