Food Shuttle’s Band Together Stipend Supports People Experiencing Homelessness Who Are Recovering From COVID-19
COVID 19 has been a fact of life in our world for almost two full years now, and we’ve all become familiar with the stories of long hospitalizations, of drawn-out recoveries at home resulting in loss of jobs. But what happens to those people who have no home to return to after their time in the hospital? Where do they go to rest and recover from this terrible virus? In Wake County, that question is being addressed by WakeMed and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
Dr. Brian Klausner, Medical Director for WakeMed Community Health, reports that the same spike in COVID numbers that’s being seen across the country is being seen in the homeless community. As such, there’s been an increase in the need for quarantine for that population, which is “tough to do when you don’t have a home to quarantine in.” Patients that are experiencing homelessness that are too healthy to stay in what has become severely limited hospital space are being released into area hotels where they can be monitored as they continue to recover from the coronavirus. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is doing what it does best by ensuring that nutritious meals are provided to all these patients as they work toward returning to good health. Thanks to the additional stipend received from United Way and Band Together, they’ll be able to provide even more support to our neighbors in need.
The Food Shuttle has supplied over 500 bags of meals and snacks during the last month or so to patients—adults and children–who have been discharged into area hotels. The bags consist of five meals, each of which are made up of a protein, a carbohydrate, a vegetable, and a snack. The meals are prepared fresh and quick frozen. The patients can keep them in their hotel room mini fridge and microwave them, as needed. The snack bags are little more “kid friendly”, containing items like juice boxes, fruit cups, cereal, and spaghetti-o’s.
When WakeMed approached the Food Shuttle about providing the meals, the response was immediately in the affirmative. “Having food is not a luxury,” says Melvin Acosta, Vice President of Operations and Logistics at the Food Shuttle. “It is a basic necessity, and our duty is to help those in need for the good of our community, regardless of their circumstances.” Dr. Klausner agrees that the arrangement has been a good resource for all parties involved.
“We do see light at the end of the tunnel, however” adds Dr. Klausner. “From all indications, in the next week or two, this spike should come to an end.”
That’s good news for all of us.