Area companies have stepped up to recognize ongoing efforts of local frontline workers and those involved in helping to vaccinate the community, by donating food and beverages.
For one example, Brandon Korman, owner of three local Tropical Smoothie Cafes, has been donating 50 to 100 smoothies each Friday since the beginning of February to the vaccination center at Stone Theatres' The Pointe 14 move theater at The Pointe at Barclay.
“We first started delivering smoothies to the vaccination center at The Pointe on Feb. 5, and it was so well received and appreciated by the medical staff that we decided to donate smoothies every Friday,” Brandon Korman said. “Right now, we plan to keep donating each Friday as long as the vaccination center is open, and we plan to give out smoothies this Friday to the surgical team at the hospital as well.”
Last year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisees donated more than $1.6 million in smoothies to healthcare and frontline workers in local communities across the country to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.
“Those donations inspired me to continue giving in 2021,” Korman said. “We understand the incredible effort going into vaccinating the community, and we wanted to show our support and appreciation for the staffers working to keep Wilmington safe and healthy.”
Pender County tourism director and public information officer, Tammy Proctor, said Smithfield Foods, in another example, recently approached the town of Burgaw and asked if they could thank the county’s hometown heroes with a boxed lunch. Burgaw Mayor Pete Cowan welcomed them and included the county in the planning of the event.
Smithfield provided boneless pork chops which their staff cooked on large grills in the parking lot of Pender Memorial Hospital on February 10.
“It was extremely well received,” Proctor said. “Our Pender County first responders and health care workers who have dealt with COVID-19 for almost a year were appreciative of the gesture.”
In all, 550 meals were served, and delivered with the help of Burgaw’s Police Chief Jim Hock and Burgaw Town Manager James Gantt, as well as the Pender County Parks and Recreation Department and Pender County Tourism.
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