ST. LOUIS — Nurses at St. Louis University Hospital, donning scrubs and PPE, strode outside the hospital on Friday, not to tend to a new patient, but to receive a round of donated food from Steve’s Hot Dogs.
The local restaurant donated 160 meals to frontline health care workers on Friday. They delivered 80 at 11 a.m. and another 80 at 7 p.m. The meals were purchased for donation on Dec. 21.
“It was delicious and a big help to us. Last time they donated I was so busy I didn’t even have time to go to the break room to get one,” said Jordan Voss, a nurse in the emergency department who enjoyed a Chicago hot dog from the restaurant.
Voss said the coronavirus pandemic has kept staff busy for the past year, but with St. Louis recording its highest homicide rate in 50 years, it was the number of trauma patients that most affected the emergency department.
The 80 meals helped cover not only doctors and nurses, but also technicians and those working in registration, cleaning, supply and security, said Mary Catherine Moran, business manager of the emergency room department.
“It really makes us feel more like a community when we have donations like this that come in. It makes everyone’s day,” Moran said. “They were excited to hear that it was from Steve’s, a local place. It’s like having something from the Hill or Imo’s.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Steve’s Hot Dogs has donated to Front-line health care workers across the region, as well as unhoused individuals, in partnership with organizations such as Tent Mission, Zion Lutheran Food Pantry and St. Patrick Center.
The restaurant also received a $20,000 donation for meals through a program offered by the broadcast station CNBC, and word has continued to spread about the donations from there.
“We closed our doors last year about this time, and we were only able to reopen because the community came out,” said Danni Eickenhorst, co-owner of the restaurant. “As soon as we were able to turn things around we thought, ‘How can we implement something where we’re able to give back to the community?’ Because it’s really clear to us that’s the whole reason we have our doors open.”