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Community steps up to feed Rockford healthcare workers on NYE

Healthcare workers at SwedishAmerican Hospital unload more than 30 pizzas, salad and soda Dec. 31 from a Winnebago County Sheriff's squad car. The sheriff's office helped coordinate the special delivery for frontline workers.

ROCKFORD (WREX) — A special delivery showed up to SwedishAmerican Hospital on New Year's Eve as a way to say thanks to our healthcare workers during such a challenging year.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford organized the donation of more than 30 pizzas, salad and soda from Lino's in Rockford. According to Jo Minor, President of the League of Women Voters, this donation was also in part, thanks to community members who chipped in.

"It was just a community effort all the way," Minor, who said she was partly inspired by her own hospitalization this year that was not related to COVID-19.

"I got to see firsthand what [COVID-19] was doing to the staff. How stressed they were, how overworked they were," she said.

The food donation went to staff in the Cardiac Care Unit, the Emergency Department, the COVID-19 isolation unit and the 9th floor, which also rooms COVID-19 patients.

The staff members who received the free food have worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Luann Varilek, Manager of Nursing Resources at SwedishAmerican Hospital.

"It's great to have donations of food for the staff. It gives them a moral boost during this time," Varilek said. "We've been going on with COVID-19 since March and it gets a little weary at times so we're really appreciative of the community for thinking of us."

The League of Women Voters will drop off another round of pizza, salad and soda to Mercyhealth on New Year's Eve at 10 p.m. Varilek said healthcare workers are so appreciative of the Rockford community.

"Without the support from the community we would not be where we are," she said.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga is the content manager at 13 WREX. She joined the team in 2015 as the 5, 6 and 10PM news producer after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was 13 WREX’s assignment editor from 2017 to 2018.

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