When Stony Brook Village Center businesses heard health care workers are in need of a little support, they didn’t hesitate to help.
The Ward Melville Heritage Organization announced Monday that once again it has organized the village center’s restaurants and eateries to deliver meals and breakroom snacks to Stony Brook University Hospital.
“It’s disappointing that we have to start up this program again, but the health care workers are there for the Long Island community, and we have to be there for them,” said Gloria Rocchio, WMHO president.
Between April 2020 and May 2021, the Stony Brook Village/Stony Brook University Hospital Meal Train Program provided more than 12,000 meals and snacks to the medical professionals at SBUH, according to WMHO. Grist Mill Eatery, Mirabelle Restaurant at the Three Village Inn, Crazy Beans, Stony Brook Chocolate, Village Coffee Market, Sweet Mama’s restaurant, Brew Cheese and Premiere Pastry are currently participating in the meal program.
According to WMHO, community members can become involved by donating to participating businesses.
Marios Patatinis, owner of Sweet Mama’s, said residents have been the heroes regarding the past and current meal trains due to their generous contributions. He said it enables restaurant owners to not only donate the food but helps to give the employees who prepare the meals more work hours.
“The true heroes are not the restaurants,” Patatinis said. “We have been working the hardest we can to keep afloat for the past few years, but it’s the families that are behind the scenes that are actually sponsoring these meals. They’re the ones that are the heroes in my eyes for the past two years.”
Carol Gomes, Stony Brook Medicine’s chief executive officer and chief operating officer, is grateful for the help.
“The team at Stony Brook University Hospital continues to provide a heroic level of care through this pandemic, and the support provided by the Stony Brook village meal train program is deeply appreciated and a reflection of the ways in which the community values our efforts on their behalf,” she said.
Donations for the program can also be sent directly to WMHO, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Every dollar sent will be put toward the meal program and donations are tax-deductible. Checks can be made payable to WMHO, and “for the Stony Brook University Hospital Meal Program account” must be specified on the memo line. Checks can be sent to WMHO, P.O. Box 572, Stony Brook, NY 11790.