Initiative launched to ‘feed the front line’
A group of volunteers has teamed up, after discussions with the Gibraltar Government, to deliver food to frontline workers during the present public health crisis.
‘Feeding the frontline’ was this week launched as one of the latest Gibraltar COVID-19 community driven initiatives.
The group is made up of four local business people including Gillaine Dellipiani, Adrian Lima, Suyenne Lima and Jonathan Stagnetto.
The initiative was prompted after members of the group had been adhering to the lockdown rules and one, speaking to friends within the medical fraternity, realised that personnel were concerned about not being able to get out to grab something to eat at times whilst working during the current crisis.
This prompted the four volunteers to join forces to create Feeding the Frontline.
In a statement issued by the group this Tuesday, they explained that during the past week, they have been asking “the Chief Minister and the Minister for Health and Care, for guidance on what private business could be doing to support the frontline workers in the GHA.”
“The answer that came back to us was quite simply: ‘whatever the front line needs’. And so we asked the doctors and nurses themselves.”
“Their overwhelming response was ‘Hot food please. We have no time to organise hot meals for ourselves, and we are exhausted’.”
They further added that “having secured the support of the Minister and the Management of the GHA, we will begin serving hot meals to over 120 Frontline Health Professionals at the GHA every day of the week for free, and for as long as this COVID-19 emergency lasts.”
The volunteers will be delivering meals to St Bernard’s Hospital and to the GHA’s Nightingale Field Hospital Facility as from 1pm on April 2.
The volunteers explained that in order to achieve their objectives, they have secured the services of a local caterer and have been “generously supported” by Aquagib, who will be sponsoring all meals at St Bernard’s Hospital.
Law firm Hassans will be sponsoring the Field Hospital, with more sponsors to be announced soon if the demand increases.
The initiative is understood to have been well received by GHA staff.
“We wanted to give something back to our community at this difficult time, and what better way to do this than to feed those who are working so hard to protect the health of our community.,” the group said.
“We know that there are many other frontline workers in our community who would greatly welcome this type of support, and trust that other caterers may join with sponsors to expand this initiative into other areas where it may be needed.”
“Together we will beat this invisible enemy”, said Gillaine Dellipiani, FTF Team Member.
"I am delighted to see how entrepreneurs in our community have turned their imagination and their energy to help the efforts of the whole community to support of health services. This is what 'community' is all about.”
“In better times, we must remember those who helped us all when the chips where down - especially those who got the chips and other lovely food to the front line. Thank you.” said the Chief Minister.
The Minister for Health and Care, Paul Balban, said: “This kind action is yet another tribute to the incredible show of comradeship and humanity that makes Gibraltarians the incredible people we are. When those at the helm, are preparing to take care of the medical needs of the community, especially the most vulnerable and have little time to look after their own basic needs, most importantly their nutrition, others graciously jump in to support the frontline. Thank you for this gesture of support and unity.”
The volunteer group also added, “we wish all our frontline workers all the very best, and feel very grateful they are there to keep us safe. For further information please like our Facebook page. We are also on Twitter.”
Gilliane conclude by saying that she hoped the initiative would also be picked up by other volunteer groups who she hoped could also support in a similar fashion other essential services such as the police. Adding that this was a big operation, seven days a week.