Brisbane cafe plates up home-cooked meals for Mater nurses

Mater nurses on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic at Brisbane’s Mater hospital will be nourished with hearty home-cooked meals, thanks to a Brisbane café owner.

Wendy Cox, owner of Graceville Fine Foods & Deli, said Brisbane and Ipswich hospital staff had been “thrown in the deep end” with COVID-19 and she wanted to show healthcare workers how grateful the community was for their around-the-clock care of patients.

Ms Cox donated about 40 meals for nurses at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital on 21 and 31 January.

Mater Hospital Brisbane Director of Clinical Services Arna Chauncey said she was deeply touched the community had rallied for frontline health workers.

“This gesture will mean the world to those nurses who are working long shifts in PPE gear, and not having to worry about what to cook for lunch or dinner is an added bonus,” Ms Chauncey said.

“Knowing that a small business has chimed in to support so many nurses who are working hard to save lives is heart-warming.”

Individual meals being dished up by the team at Graceville Find Foods & Deli include quiches, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and rice with chicken and vegetables.

Ms Cox said some cafes inside hospitals had closed, leaving staff with limited access to healthy, hot meals.

“These hospital staff are working double shifts and deserve to eat something that isn’t fast food,” Ms Cox said.

“The last thing you want to do after a long day is cook dinner and then prepare food for the next day - sleep is way more important.”

Ms Cox said a call out on social media had generated a “huge amount of interest” from local community members and prompted her to start a Go Fund Me page.

“With the help of monetary donations, we can concentrate our time and energy into making homecooked meals and deliver them personally to the staff fridges at hospitals in Brisbane and Ipswich,” she said.

“The nurses need to know we appreciate them in such a difficult time.”

Despite two of her own staff members testing positive to COVID-19, Ms Cox was still determined to help as many healthcare workers as she could.

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