The Problem: Healthcare workers are being asked to work longer hours and have less time to home cook meals to eat at work. The increased personnel in the hospital has caused a strain on available hospital cafeterias and coffee shops. Furthermore, many restaurants are at risk of going out of business because of government-imposed restrictions (e.g. delivery and take-out only) and customers now eating at home to comply with social distancing. Adding onto this, some restaurants have completely closed given the operational costs of keeping them open outweighed the benefits, further limiting food options.
Our Approach: To address the need for food deliveries, we collaborated with Off Their Plate, an organization that works with local restaurants to deliver meals (lunch/dinner) to hospital staff. Meals are funded by donations made directly to the Off Their Plate organization. To facilitate deliveries within the hospitals, we contacted our institution’s hospital operations, who provided the initial information on how and where to drop off large deliveries and the staff headcount per shift. After the initial connection was made between Off Their Plate and our hospital operations, our medical student team facilitated a clean hand-off of the coordination to hospital operations. See below for example donations organized by OffTheirPlate for our hospitals.
- Medical Students: Responsible for initiating contact with Off Their Plate to bring their service to their home institution and connecting the organization to internal contact for hospital operations.
- Hospital Operations: Coordinates directly with Off Their Plate (after initial connection was established by our team) to provide headcounts, delivery times, and delivery location. Also responsible for ensuring equitable distribution of meals to various teams.
- Off Their Plate: For providing the meals themselves, donation collection system for funding the meals, and delivery service.
Participants: All medical student classes, students in other health professions
This is an open-access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.