Providing Nourishment and Comfort

Food was a welcome sight at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, especially since the hospital cafeteria was at limited capacity.

To thank and support the frontline, Marie and Stuart Block provided a steady supply of meals from local restaurants including Vito’s in the Valley, Revel Kitchen and Strange Donuts.

“We wanted to show our appreciation and give the frontline staff something to look forward to,” Stuart Block said. “Marie and I always thought health care workers were special and Missouri Baptist has always exceeded our expectations. We had food delivered from local restaurants because we wanted to support businesses where we live, too. It was a win-win.”

He added that Adam and Andy Gubin of Rimco Scrap Metal also contributed to meals delivered by Vito’s in the Valley.

Mark Gellman, of The Gellman Team, made sure the frontline workers were well nourished, too. Every Friday for seven weeks, his business had personal pan pizzas delivered to the Missouri Baptist health care team.

The gesture was personal to him after his own college-age son contracted COVID-19 early in the pandemic. In addition, his daughter is planning to become a nurse.

“To picture her as a nurse in harm’s way made it very real,” Gellman said. “We were thrilled to provide these pizzas to the frontline. We kept the deliveries going for a while because we didn’t want to let them down.”

As a nurse and nurse educator, Jackie Saleeby has a special understanding of what nurses go through. When the pandemic began in earnest, Saleeby and her husband, Ray, wanted to help. Through their business, Saleeby and Associates, they donated over 500 meals to Missouri Baptist, as well as to firefighters and paramedics in the community.

“The pandemic hit the frontline hard,” Jackie Saleeby says. “They are the unsung heroes. Providing food was one thing we could do to help them. It was a simple gesture of appreciation for their selflessness.”

Many of us turned to comfort food early in the pandemic. Health care workers were no exception, and restauranteur John Mineo made sure they had plenty of it.  Mineo and his family cooked and delivered at least 300 delicious Italian meals in one day to Missouri Baptist and other hospitals.

“It was challenging, but the frontline needed a break during this stressful time,” Mineo said. “We appreciate what they’re doing, and they deserve help. Seeing all the smiles when we delivered the meals meant the world to me.”

The Mineo family owns numerous restaurants around the area including John Mineo’s Italian Restaurant, Il Bel Lago, Sapore Italian Café and Augustino’s, among others. Mineo’s restaurants generously provided more than 1,000 meals to frontline workers across St. Louis during the pandemic.

“Many doctors have supported our restaurants over the years so we’re glad to give back to them,” Mineo says.

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