Feeding front-line health care workers, supporting local restaurants

Feeding front-line health care workers, supporting local restaurants

While health care workers respond to the pandemic, they play a critical role in providing health solutions and connecting families and communities.

Candelario Saldana, an associate with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, was moved by the work being done by health care workers here in Charlotte.

“I felt the need to do more for our health care workers,” Saldana said.

Saldana created a #DinnerForHealthCareHeroes fundraiser. It would allow him to get others at the law firm involved, as well as support local restaurants.

“Together we’d be able to help local restaurants so they could keep their doors open and their employees employed,” he said.

At many area eateries, the lunch and dinner crowds aren’t what they used to be because of COVID-19 ordinances.

POPLAR restaurant has take out and online delivery orders coming through, but now they are now serving a bigger mission that’s bringing orders through its door.

With over $10,000 in donations, Saldana delivered 525 meals, many purchased from POPLAR, to Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health Mercy and Atrium Health Pineville.

“Our health care workers are on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic and working long hours to care for members of our community,” Saldana said. “Reading about how some of them were staying away from their homes to protect their loved ones reminded me about how much they’re giving to keep our communities safe.”

With the added impact on local restaurants, which are struggling to stay open and the residual effects on its employees, Saldana had the dual opportunity to thank health care workers and purchase meals from a local restaurant.

“My hope is that we all come out of this knowing that together, even though apart, we are stronger and create a bigger difference,” Saldana said.

Within the next 30 days, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will be packing tens of thousands of food boxes that will be distributed by over 800 agencies to families in need across 24 counties.

These boxes will help feed families whose children are missing school meals, seniors being asked to stay safely in their homes, those in need of food who are quarantined and employees in our community being affected by decreases in work hours. The number of struggling families continues to increase, along with their need for food.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.