Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Health Service Union organiser Peter Kelly are encouraging local businesses to help cater for health workers at Lismore Base Hospital. Photo: Jackie Munro
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Health Service Union organiser Peter Kelly are encouraging local businesses to help cater for health workers at Lismore Base Hospital. Photo: Jackie Munro

Hungry hospital workers in need of a freshly cooked feed

THEY are on the frontline serving the community during the coronavirus pandemic, but due to reduced cafeteria hours, many local health workers are also going hungry.

With Lismore Base Hospital’s cafeteria operating on reduced hours, hospital workers are looking for delivery options to keep themselves fed and ready to go, creating an opportunity for local businesses to fill both tummies and demand.

Health Services Union secretary, Gerard Hayes, said due to changed visiting hours, the hospital’s Fresh Plus cafe was currently working on reduced hours, closing at 5pm Monday to Friday, and forcing staff members to choose from vending machines.

“Hospital workers are putting in long hours to keep their people safe during this difficult time,” Mr Hayes said.

“Our members not only work in the community, they live in the community and they want to spend money with local businesses who are doing it tough.”

Mr Hayes said there was an opportunity for local restaurants and eateries that were able to deliver to the hospital to provide meals and snacks to workers during the evening.

HSU organiser, Peter Kelly, said the new initiative would help local businesses that are struggling during the pandemic to “thrive and survive”.

“There was talk about providing frozen food, but if we can get meals that are freshly cooked, then it helps support local businesses and keep them afloat during tough times while also providing our tireless workers with quality local food,” he said.

Mr Kelly said interested businesses must be prepared to offer delivery to the hospital, but said there was also the potential for these businesses to offer lunchtime options for staff as well.

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin welcomed the initiative, and said the Lismore community had experienced incredible challenges over recent years.

“The kitchen staff and cafeteria staff at the Lismore Base Hospital have been doing an outstanding job through this crisis,” Ms Saffin said.

“Spending money with local cafes and restaurants is one way we can help keep the doors of those businesses open, and keep people in jobs.”

Cafes and restaurants interested can email copies of their menus to Ms Saffin’s office at lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

The HSU will distribute menus to union members, and place them on staff noticeboards at Lismore Base Hospital.



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