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Food Trucks Offer ‘Food Hugs’ To Health Care Workers

MURRAY, Utah – Health care workers at Intermountain Medical Center got a big thank you Thursday from the Food Truck League, which has already donated more than 1,400 meals to front-line workers at several hospitals around the state.

“Food is an amazing motivator,” said Jane Powers, an emergency room nurse at Intermountain.

In the face of overwhelming opposition, the right ingredients can go a long way in lifting those like Powers, who for 10 months has been working tirelessly to lift strangers suffering from COVID-19.

“The hardest thing is we see the people who are getting the worst brunt of COVID,” Powers said, adding that when you see some who don’t make it, “you can’t feel anything but defeated.”

“I think that’s probably the hardest part about my job right now is that they can’t have family members with them,” said Shayla Pugmire, a critical care technician. “But it’s nice to know that we can be there for them.”

On Thursday, five food trucks were outside of the hospital for those health care workers, offering donated meals with a side of gratitude. It’s an effort that started with the owners of Yoshi’s Japanese Grill.

“She was thinking about my son-in-law, COVID counts, you know. And the nurses had been in the news getting overworked and overwhelmed. She thought, ‘I’m going to go feed the nurses,’” said owner Eddee Johanson, talking about his wife.

“It’s more like a food hug,” he said. “It’s our opportunity to give a hug to those people that are just isolated.”

The Food Truck League embraced the idea and other food trucks were soon joining the cause.

“With so many people struggling this year, whatever we can do to help, we really just, we want to help,” said Clayton Greenhalgh, owner of Silver Moon Taqueria.

The Food Truck League has already donated more than 1,400 “food hugs” to health care workers at hospitals across Davis and Salt Lake counties.

“You would be surprised how much a meal goes a long way,” Pugmire said.

It’s a small gesture. A simple thank you for those involved in challenging but critical care, with no clear end in sight.

“You know we don’t feel like heroes, we’re just doing our job,” Powers said. “But when gestures like this, it makes us feel like we’re being treated like heroes. So, thank you.”

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