April 29, 2020

Community Sponsors Meals of Gratitude for Staff at JGS Lifecare Supporting Healthcare Workers and Local Restaurants

Men delivering food to an elder care facility

LONGMEADOW, Mass. – Over the last few weeks, in a generous show of support, several local organizations and restaurants have initiated fundraising efforts to sponsor Meals of Gratitude for the staff at JGS Lifecare. This outpour of community support has a double benefit, supporting our caregivers while also supporting our local restaurants that are struggling due to forced closure of in-house service.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic restaurants are being decimated and our healthcare workers deserve so much support. These fundraising efforts are really taking care of two important fronts – lifting up our healthcare staff while also supporting our restaurants who are now reliant on take-out service to stay afloat,” commented Michael Hurwitz, owner of Pizzeria Uno’s Restaurant, who delivered over 70 pizzas to JGS LIfecare today, providing meals to all staff on all three shifts. The pizzas were paid for by the Temple Beth El community of donors.

Two men delivering pizza in a parking lot
Michael Hurwitz of Pizzeria Uno’s delivers assorted pizzas, donated by the Temple Beth El community of supporters

Last week, Rachel’s Table, a program of the Jewish Federation or Western MA, sponsored meals from The Kitchen Restaurant and Nathan Bill’s Bar and Grille raised community funds to feed all three shifts delicious assorted sandwiches.

Commitments have been made by the following organizations to raise funds to send future meals to JGS:

  • St. Mary’s Church in coordination with The Kitchen Restaurant
  • Sinai Temple
  • Luigi’s Restaurant
  • Indian Association of Greater Springfield

“It is wonderful to know that the community appreciates the work we are doing,” commented Beth-Ann Kalinko, CNA, at the Leavitt Family Jewish Home and Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. “We take our commitment to care for our residents very seriously. It has been challenging these past several weeks, and knowing the community appreciates our work is an important source of encouragement and support.”

“It takes a village to care for our seniors. Our nurses, CNA’s, and LPN’s are on the front lines, but many others working behind the scenes make up our essential care team – including food services, social services, rehabilitative services, housekeeping, maintenance and life enrichment staff,” remarked Robert Whitten, Executive Director of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home. “It means so much for these people to receive recognition and appreciation for coming to work every day in the midst of this pandemic to help care for our seniors. The meals from the community are a great way to say thank you and are most appreciated.”

Staff at Nursing Home eating donated food
Staff at the Levitt Family Jewish Home enjoy the Meals of Gratitude

“Our staff are committed to protecting our most frail and vulnerable population, and fighting the invisible threat of the COVID virus. They put their own health on the line to do so. Community meals of gratitude provide a welcome break for our staff, warming hearts and lifting spirits, while also supporting our local restaurants,” commented Susan Kimball Halpern, vice president of development and communications. “We are indebted to the community for making these meals possible.”


About JGS Lifecare

JGS Lifecare is a leading health care system serving seniors and their families. JGS Lifecare services include nursing home care (The Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home), rehabilitation services (Sosin Center for Rehabilitation), assisted living (Ruth’s House Assisted Living Residence), home health and hospice care (Spectrum Home Health & Hospice), adult day health care (Wernick Adult Day Health Care), independent living (Genesis Lifecare) and palliative care (Francis B. Cohen Palliative Care Program). For more information, call JGS Lifecare at 413-567-6211 or visit JGSLIfecare.org.