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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

How a warm meal is making a difference for staff and physicians

Warm Meal
Health care workers are being called upon like never before, but staff at St. Joseph’s Health Centre are still finding ways to show compassion and provide comfort and support to one another.

The cafeteria at St. Joseph’s – named the Lakeside Café – recently started offering take-home specials for staff and physicians at the hospital on weekdays. These take-home meals were designed in mind for those with families at home and can serve three to four people.

The initiative began because Dayalan Thevathasan, manager of Hospitality Services at St. Joseph’s, wanted to support his hardworking colleagues at the Health Centre.

“We’re in such unprecedented times and I thought, ‘what can I do to make people’s lives easier?’ And this is what came to mind,” he said.

Similar to the other offerings at the Lakeside Café, the take-home meals are made fresh by the Nutrition Services team and include a wide variety of choices. The rotating specials range from traditional favourites such as barbeque ribs and potato salad to international dishes like piri piri chicken and Mediterranean platters.

Thevathasan coordinates orders from staff and physicians every weekday morning. Once the specials are prepared, they are available for pickup in the cafeteria and can easily be reheated at home.

“A lot of people, especially those who are working long and busy days, don’t want to stop off at the store or anywhere else,” Thevathasan said. “This is an easy grab-and-go option.”

Thevathasan says he has received a lot of positive feedback so far and is happy that he is able to support his colleagues as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.

“I have a few people who have been ordering pretty much every day,” he said. “They’re saying it’s easy for them – after a busy day, they are able to go straight home, not have to think about cooking and still have a nice meal.”

Chanty Tort, a Registered Nurse at St. Joseph’s, is one of those people who have been taking advantage of this special at the Health Centre.

“I appreciate having delicious and warm meals to take home,” she said. “Thank you to Dayalan and the team at the Lakeside Café for going above and beyond with this great initiative!”

Stay up to date on news, health tips and more from Unity Health Toronto at UnityHealth.to/newsletter.

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