Here at COSILoveYou, we have seen incredible examples of our community uniting in response to the COVID-19 crisis. From delivering groceries through the 2-1-1 hotline, to writing thank-you notes to teachers, more than ever churches and community members are stepping up to meet tangible needs.
Mira Sol Food Truck & Flight for Life Crew
At the same time, health care professionals have been working hard on the front lines, and local businesses have been struggling to make ends meet. In response to this, COSILoveYou has partnered with several churches around Colorado Springs to pay food trucks to provide free meals to hospital staff over the course of the summer. From late May through the end of July, this initiative will provide over 5,000 free meals to employees at four major hospitals in Colorado Springs (Memorial Central, Memorial North, St. Francis & Penrose Main). This generous gift from churches in our community is a practical source of encouragement for frontline health workers and also stimulates the income of local business owners.
On the Front Lines
Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve seen the smiling faces of hospital staff receiving free meals. “It’s been an amazing experience,” said Andrea Sinclair, Communications Advisor for Centura Health. “It’s a faith-based, grassroots initiative, and I love that the community is coming together to support businesses and local health care workers.” Providing free meals to health care workers helps in so many more ways than a simple free lunch, Sinclair explained. “Being outside is a change of pace from all the work they’ve been doing. When I tell the staff that local churches came together and raised the money, they’re always amazed. They realize what a generous gift it is, and they’re so grateful and moved.” Sinclair explained how the food truck program is timely, as many staff are feeling the toll of the prolonged COVID crisis. “I can’t explain the effect it has on the morale of the entire hospital,” said Sinclair. “It motivates them to continue working and have a good attitude. Now that they feel cared for, it definitely inspires them to keep going.”
Supporting Small Businesses
Wild Goose Catering serving meals at Memorial Central
Jamie Faulkner, business owner of Wild Goose Catering and part of the Colorado Springs Food Truck Alliance, helped to organize local food trucks around this program. He talked about how the partnership has benefited food trucks in a unique way: “This has been a rough time for all of us. Through this program, we’ve been able to make a little money and help out at the same time. We’re always happy to make other people happy. Some of the hospital staff have even ordered from us at other events, so it’s helped promote our business at the same time.”
Mountain Springs Church is one of the churches helping fund the food truck program. “We are so appreciative of what our health care workers do for our community,” said Chip Mattingly, Missions and Outreach Pastor of Mountain Springs Church. “Each week, they put their lives on the line for the wellbeing of so many individuals throughout Colorado Springs. Their work is vital to restoring our community, and we are so thankful to contribute to supporting and loving on these incredible frontline heroes.” Partnering Churches engaged with the food truck program include: Trace Church, Woodmen Valley Chapel, First Presbyterian Church, Mountain Springs Church, Red Rock Church and Life Church.
How We Can Continue to Help
Although businesses and spaces are opening up again, the virus isn’t gone. Sinclair explained how to best support our health care workers moving forward: “Wash your hands, social distance, wear a mask. If you have symptoms, stay home and don’t go to work. That’s the simplest, most compassionate thing you can do as a community. If everyone does their part, it will make a big difference.”
COSILoveYou is proud to partner with churches who support those working on behalf of our city. We especially see the importance of this in the midst of COVID-19, when many are feeling weary from this prolonged crisis. The food truck program is just one example of how the Church of Colorado Springs can reach beyond its physical walls to bring hope and encouragement to our city.