MILLBURN, NJ — Looking for ways to help healthcare workers treating COVID-19 in a local hospital, several restaurants in Millburn's business community have partnered together to provide food for them.
The program, which Millburn's business will fully join this week, was planned out by Sejal Lakhani-Bhatt, a Livingston resident. Lakhani-Bhatt rallied donations to local eateries, who in turn cooked meals for medical personnel. After speaking with a contact at St. Barnabas, the Millburn/Short Hills Chamber of Commerce came onboard with the effort.
Chamber Executive Director Roxanne Giacalone spoke with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills about the effort. She said that starting this week, Millburn restaurants will slide into the schedule of food deliveries up to the hospital, which stradles the Livingston/West Orange border.
“All of the money that is being donated is going to the Millburn/Short hills business community, to provide meals and snacks for the workers up there," Giacalone said. "So it’s a win-win for everyone. It’s community dollars, staying in the community and doing a really wonderful thing for the workers."
Speaking about the workers at the hospital, Giacalone said that while the delivery of food is a small act, it is something that will help keep medical workers from having to think about where their next meal will be coming from.
"They’re on 12 hours shifts, they have to be tired," she said. "This is easy for them, not to think about what they have to bring in to work to eat, the food’s already there for them. So we’re not the only ones providing meals. We’re working in conjunction with Livingston’s [Chamber], so we’re on the schedule as well.
"This is all systematic, it’s not just catch as catch can. This is very organized and methodical, so that one delivery gets up there and everyone’s having the same thing that day there, whether it’s a chicken and a pasta or pizza, this is 600 meals going up there two different times, lunch and dinner, and they’re taken care of."
In addition to the donations towards the hospital meal fund, donations can also be sent toward the purchase of medical supplies.
“I believe that the community wants to do something," Giacalone said. "That’s why we had a positive response, because everyone’s feeling good about donating something, and they know it’s going to wherever it’s needed. Some people have written that in their notes, ‘wherever it’s needed,’ so I think people are feeling good.”
In order to donate to the project, visit the chamber landing page with inks to St. Barnabas and the MSHVFAS at this link; https://millburnshorthillschamber.org/covid-19-donations-direct/