Emergency Workers Christmas Appreciation Meal receives overwhelming response
Christmas Day was cold, but the frosty temperatures did not in any way impact the warm meals of the Emergency Workers Christmas Appreciation Meal.
“It was so cold, but everything turned out perfect,” event organizer Erin Hern said. “We had plenty of food. Most everyone showed up with their items, everyone wore masks and no one got out of their car except for those who would be delivering.”
This marked the seventh year the Emergency Workers Christmas Appreciation Meal has been organized as a thank you from the community to first responders and frontline medical workers.
The outreach program, in which food is collected, put together in large meals, and then delivered on Christmas to first responders, was initiated by Hern after she learned about a similar event a friend in Starkville had organized.
This year, with the added burden frontline medical workers have had to deal with due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hern said the outpouring from the community was very generous. Food was dropped off at Medical Associates in Vicksburg and then distributed to first responders across Warren County.
In addition to those who have received meals in the past, which included the Vicksburg Police Department, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, stations with the Vicksburg Fire Department, 911 dispatchers and the emergency room at Merit Health River Region, there were enough donations so food could be provided to those working on the hospital’s fourth and fifth floors as well as the Intensive Care Unit.
“The fifth floor is the COVID floor and all the staff is so overworked,” Hern said.
And it felt good to be able to give something back to those who are sacrificing so much, she said.
“In my opinion, this year was a little extra special for everybody, and it was definitely needed because these are the ones that have been in the thick of it,” Hern said.