By Trang Do

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of frontline health care workers didn’t miss out on a turkey dinner while at work this Thanksgiving, thanks to a Philadelphia businessman who wanted to show his appreciation for the work they’re doing on the holiday and every day.

It took a good amount of teamwork to unload the individually packaged Thanksgiving meals for every single one of the more than 650 staff members working at Pennsylvania Hospital on Thanksgiving.

“I don’t have to eat my pasta for lunch. I can have a turkey meal,” said registered nurse Patti Lamoreaux with a laugh.

Lamoreaux is a veteran nurse, currently working on a COVID floor in the middle of a troubling surge in cases locally and nationwide.

“We’re here for them, they can make your day,” she said of her patients. “You make somebody smile and it just makes your day. Especially, with the COVID unit, they’re very sick and just to bring a little light into somebody’s life for the day or we’ll FaceTime for their families.”

The meals, prepared by Manny’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Southampton, Bucks County, were sent over by jeweler Steven Singer. He was unable to be there in-person after undergoing open-heart surgery at Pennsylvania, where he says he received top-notch care.

“It’s Thanksgiving and they can’t be with their families,” Singer said. “So we’re sending over a beautiful Thanksgiving meal — turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, all the traditional Thanksgiving things — as a tiny little hug to say thank you.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Singer has provided more than 3,000 meals to hospital workers in Philadelphia and across the country, using a portion of the proceeds from sales of his famous 24-karat gold and platinum dipped roses.

Singer said it’s a win-win all around for him, his customers, the local restaurants that prepare the meals, and most importantly the health care heroes themselves.

“Selfishly, I think I get more out of it than anyone because we just feel so good that we’re able to do a tiny little something to help them,” he said.

Singer plans to continue providing meals to frontline health care workers through the end of the pandemic.


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