MIAMI (WSVN) - City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell partnered with Uber Eats and donated 2,500 free meals to healthcare professionals on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundred of nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers at Jackson Health system were gifted free meals from local restaurants.

The initiative was set up as an act of gratitude to those individuals who have been placed in stressful environments and tasked with working longer hours than they are used to.

“For the last week or so, I’ve been working with local restaurants to help them find ways to continue to serve their customers,” said Russell. “At the same time, we were hearing about the stress our local health care workers are under as they bear the brunt of this crisis and figure out how to homeschool kids, buy groceries, make meals. It’s a lot.”

Before putting forth this initiative, Russell worked with Uber Eats to provide meals for one the most vulnerable populations to the virus: the elderly. Uber Eats stepped up for a second time by delivering local favorites to workers at the region’s largest public hospital.

The free meals that were provided valued more than $60,000.

“We know that the heroic work of medical and crisis response teams can be tireless and the hours long,” said Uber Public Affairs Manager Javier Correoso. “The coming weeks will be challenging for all of us, and Uber is committed to working with our restaurant partners and communities at large to keep people safe and fed.”

A 30-year veteran at Jackson Memorial’s emergency room, Dr. Dave Woolsey, said the coronavirus crisis is “a totally new animal” that health systems have never experienced. He said, “It’s really hard on caregivers’ families. People are already feeling the stress of how scary it is.”

Martha Baker, RN, president and executive director of SEIU Local 1991 — the union that represents the nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals of Jackson Health Systems — offered words of gratitude on behalf of her fellow medical professionals.

“We’d like to say ‘Thank you!’ to Uber for recognizing our heroic healthcare providers at Jackson that are driven to care for all patients,” she said. “We’re lucky this community has a world-class public safety net hospital. Something like a free meal from your favorite restaurant is a great thank you to our members on the front lines. Food is always a great comfort, especially at times like these.”

For more information on the City of Miami’s ongoing response to COVID-19, click here.

Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox