CANTON, Ohio — Grocery stores everywhere are adding delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but often times the wait can be extreme. Because nurses and doctors are struggling to get their essential items, a hospital in Canton is implementing its own program to make it even more convenient for our healthcare heroes.
- Mercy Medical Center's "Mercy Eats!" is a personal grocery shopping service for items already on-hand in the hospital's cafeteria
- Employees can fill out an order form and a crew gathers and bags the groceries
- The service is available 7 days a week and they fill about 20 orders a day
"We knew that there was going to be a need for a program like this, a lot of our staff in the hospital are working long hours and they're really trying to follow the stay-at-home order the best they can so we wanted to bring something to them to kind of make their life easier," said Nicky Pyles, executive chef for Mercy Medical Center in Canton.
Pyles and her co-worker Nikki Mosiychuk work for Food and Nutrition Services at Mercy Medical Center.They created a program called "Mercy Eats!," which is a personal grocery shopping service for the hospital's more than 2,000 person staff. Employees can purchase items already on-hand in the hospital's cafeteria, such as breads, pastas, fruits, vegetables, milk and many other items.
"A lot of the times the nurses work so long that they don't have time and plus we don't want them to go to stores, so we have a shopping list of, you know, just essential items," said Mosiychuk, Director of Food and Nutrition Services.
Employees can fill out an order form with the items they want to purchase. A crew then gathers the groceries and gets the bag ready for pick-up by the end of each employee's shift.
The program aims to help stop the spread of the coronavirus by helping frontline nurses and doctors avoid going into the community and risking infection.
"We know that's why a lot of our staff is participating in it. They've openly said that they like the fact that they don't have to stop anywhere. They're using it as their initiative to help out the community by not going anywhere. They know that they're possibly at risk being here in general working, so they're really trying to just work and go home," said Pyles.
Mercy Eats! is available seven days a week at the hospital for its workers. On average, about 20 orders are filled a day.
"We love it, for us it doesn't feel like it's that big of a deal, but everyone appreciates it and we love that we're helping them, but it just feels like it's our daily jobs," said Mosiychuk.