Mountaire feeds Nanticoke, PRMC health care workers

Stacey Ferara with Cura Hospitality, the food service provider at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, hands a family pack of fresh Mountaire chicken to Sharon Harrington, among the many employees at Nanticoke who received a 10-pound donation of chicken. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

SEAFORD — Dawn broke Thursday morning over Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford to waves of protective masks, orange cones and social distancing — and a truckload of Mountaire chicken.

In support of healthcare communities facing challenging, stressful times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mountaire Farms provided some nutritious assistance.

This week, Mountaire donated more than 44,000 pounds of chicken to employees at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford and Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

Thursday’s donation was 13,000 pounds of fresh chicken tenders for the 1,200 employees at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Wednesday’s donation at PRMC was more than 31,000 pounds for their 3,000 employees.

“We are so grateful for what our health care professionals are doing to serve the community, and we wanted to thank them,” said Catherine M. Bassett, Director of Community Relations for Mountaire Farms. “We’re still seeing shortages in stores and we know that the hospital staff is working day and night and might not get to the stores in time to restock for their own families. We are blessed to be able to give back to those who are helping fight this disease.”

Orange cones designate safe social distancing as Nanticoke Memorial Hospital employees line up Friday morning to receive their 10-pound supply of Mountaire chicken. Mountaire’s donation to the western Sussex County healthcare community began around sunrise and continued throughout the day. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

Refrigerated trailers brought cases of chicken to PRMC on Wednesday. Thursday was the day-long stop at Nanticoke Memorial.

Every employee received a 10-pound bag of fresh chicken to take home to their families. Nanticoke Me-morial’s network encompasses more than 1,000 employees.

“We have had so much support from the community. It has been great,” said Sharon Harrington, Director of Strategic Communications for Peninsula Regional Health Services at Nanticoke. “I think it is so important and it means a lot to the staff, knowing that they are not alone, that the community is behind them, that they believe in them and hopefully know that we are doing all that we can to do the very best that we can for them.”

In the past two weeks, Mountaire Farms has donated more than 120,000 pounds of chicken to food banks, churches, community groups, Boys and Girls Clubs, and more in almost every county of Delmarva and beyond. They have partnered with the Indian River School District to provide chicken with school lunches delivered to families in neighborhoods thanks to the Schell Brothers, and with the city of Crisfield to give out chicken along with seafood from Handy’s Seafood, Ms. Bassett said.

“We’ve redoubled our efforts to make sure that our community groups are stocked with chicken to help those in need,” Ms. Bassett said. “Our regular food pantry distribution program, that delivers chicken to more than 40 groups each month, made a special delivery last week. We know the need is growing, and we are doing everything we can to help.”

At Nanticoke, Ms. Harrington noted Mountaire’s massive poultry giveaway is among the numerous examples of community support — from food and snacks to medical supplies — that the hospital has received.

“McDonald’s is doing meals for our healthcare heroes. They are doing that in a couple different counties here on the Eastern Shore. The owners got together,” said Ms. Harrington.

Operation We Care, an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to supporting America’s military and first responders, dropped off We Care boxes.

Next week, Century Seals will sponsor an ice cream day at Nanticoke.

“We’ve had so many people come out in support and drop off snacks. We’ve had businesses call,” said Ms. Harrington. “It’s individuals all the way up to businesses.”

There are donations of supplies, including homemade masks to augment the supply at the hospital.

“We do have folks sewing for us. We have quite a good group of ladies — there may be a gentleman in there — doing that,” said Ms. Harrington. “We really do appreciate that because we don’t know what is to come. I think in a state of crisis – you see what is going on in New York and other places – you want to be prepared for that.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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