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Company opens makeshift grocery stores at hospitals for healthcare workers

If you’re working 12-hour shifts in a hospital during a pandemic, the last thing you have energy for is waiting in long lines to 'make' groceries

NEW ORLEANS —

The gift of time and convenience can often be more valuable than something you buy and wrap up in a box. 

And that is exactly what health care workers are getting from a company that saw a need in their tired eyes. 

Sometimes it’s the little things that people do that make a big difference. 

If you’re working 12-hour shifts in a hospital during a pandemic, the last thing you have energy for is waiting in long lines to 'make' groceries or waiting outside a drug store only to find the bathroom supplies sold out. 

People who work at a company called Aramark stepped in.

"I had a crazy text on a Monday, and by Thursday, you know, five hospitals mobilized this. I give all of the credit to those folks that did it," said Scott Parker, the Vice-President of Operations at Aramark.

Aramark handles the food services and environmental cleaning at some hospitals run by LCMC, like Touro and UMC, and they decided to open makeshift grocery stores in the hospitals so health care workers could do their essential goods shopping onsite at the end of their shifts. 

"So having bread, eggs, — most grocery stores at that time didn’t have milk, so just those things made a bright spot in people’s day." 

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And then in the usual New Orleans fashion, where we’re either all related, or went to high school together, you collaborate.

"Typical New Orleans, right — my neighbor is a salesperson for NOLA Brewery who was making hand sanitizer, so we started selling hand sanitizer in our cafes. I think we’re on our third order at Touro right now," said Parker, who added that this is all being done at cost. 

But it doesn’t end there. Starting Monday, Aramark, which is a global company, is adding some special local flavor requests on the shelves. There will be family meal packs, like grab and go red beans and rice complete with the sausage. Just reheat and eat. 

"Make their lives a little bit easier and safer," he added. 

It's for a well-deserving workforce. 

The company is also doing these hospital grocery markets in other states.

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