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Atlanta Hawks supports Emory Healthcare COVID-19 caregivers with meal program

Media Contact

Janet Christenbury
Emory Healthcare
Garin Narain
Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Hawks, through the Hawks Foundation and State Farm, are providing support and resources to deliver meals to frontline workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare through an innovative multi-week meal program that will bolster the Atlanta restaurant community. The initiative allows local well-known restaurants to re-employ workers who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the financial effects of the COVID-19 situation.

Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive health system in Georgia and the official health care provider of the Atlanta Hawks, employs over 1,000 frontline workers rising to the occasion in caring for COVID-19 patients while improving lives and providing hope for the Atlanta community.   

Principal Owners Tony Ressler and Jami Gertz, Hawks President of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk, Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, members of the team and Atlanta natives and music/entertainment icons 2 Chainz, Killer Mike and Quavo shared their appreciation for Atlanta’s Healthcare Heroes in a video.

“The work of the medical community in combatting COVID-19 across the nation has been inspiring and absolutely incredible. While there is no way to truly repay our doctors, nurses, first responders and other health care workers for making this sacrifice and taking the risks they are taking every day, this effort is an important way to show our great appreciation of their heroic work on behalf of the city of Atlanta,” says principal owner Tony Ressler. “We are also proud that this program will aid our friends in the restaurant community, allowing many Atlantans in the food industry to keep or regain employment during this difficult time.” 

With frontline caregivers being asked to work longer shifts and hospitals nearing capacity, the Hawks Foundation and State Farm are funding the preparation of 4,000 meals weekly to serve approximately 1,000 health care workers restaurant-quality, nutritious meals that serve two people, five times a week.

“We’re humbled and honored to have the opportunity to help feed those who are on the front lines of this fight, as well as support our communities by providing business to local restaurants and establishments in this unprecedented time,” says Dan Krause, senior vice president, State Farm. “The essence of our business is to be a good neighbor and help people. It’s the ideal upon which we were founded, and it’s who we are at our core.”

Six Emory Healthcare hospital locations will receive meals for care team members treating those suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.

 “We are so grateful for the amazing community support from the Hawks, State Farm, Miller Union and Storico Fresco/Forza restaurants, and locally-sourced farms to provide our frontline health care workers with nutritious meals to take home at the end of their shifts,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare. “This act of kindness will go very far with our employees who are caring for patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals. We thank everyone for this terrific partnership.” 

Meals are being prepared by two local Atlanta restaurants: Forza Storico, a traditional Roman restaurant by the owners of Storico Fresco, and Miller Union, a Southern restaurant co-owned by James Beard award-winning chef Steven Satterfield. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and current regulations to prevent the spreading of the virus, both restaurants, like many others in the Atlanta community, were temporarily closed and forced to lay off staff. 

“Miller Union is really proud to be a part of the Atlanta Healthcare Heroes project with the Atlanta Hawks, State Farm and Emory Healthcare. It allows us to keep some of our staff on payroll during incredibly uncertain times, by making nutritious, restaurant-quality meals for healthcare workers and help support local farmers, who are definitely feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis as well. But the best part is knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of the frontline healthcare workers that are risking their lives to save others and sending them home with the gift of good food,” says co-owner of Miller Union Steven Satterfield.

With the multi-week meal preparation program for Healthcare Heroes, both restaurants will be able to re-employ their respective staffs and provide sustainable work for multiple farmers, ranchers and bakers that provide the ingredients.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry is astounding. We are forever grateful for the support of the Hawks Foundation and State Farm to allow us to operate during this trying time. We are honored to serve the medical workers caring for our community,” says Mike Patrick, executive chef at Forza Storico.

The meal deliveries will begin today and will take place for the next four weeks. The innovative multi-week meal program is expected to be expanded in the near future, potentially providing a significant boost to the Atlanta restaurant economy while continuing to serve the health care community throughout greater Atlanta.

“In this extremely stressful time for so many in the health field, we hope that by delivering a quality, nutritious meal we can provide a bit of relief, give them one less thing to worry about and remind them that we care about them and appreciate all that they are doing for Atlanta. The fact that we can help great Atlanta restaurants re-hire staff and keep their local suppliers in business is a powerful benefit that also helps the community,” says Atlanta Hawks & State Farm Arena CEO Steve Koonin.

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