Friday, 08 May 2020 17:17

Rockingham restaurant feeds entire hospital staff

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Marsha Reynolds, owner of The Grille, and her sister Tracey Owens load up 200 plates bound for medical workers at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond. The Grille teamed up with Feed the Fight Sandhills to provide the meals. Marsha Reynolds, owner of The Grille, and her sister Tracey Owens load up 200 plates bound for medical workers at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond. The Grille teamed up with Feed the Fight Sandhills to provide the meals. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Health care workers at Moore Regional Hospital-Richmond received free meals Friday courtesy of a local restaurant partnering with Feed the Fight Sandhills.


Marsha Reynolds and her staff at the Grille prepared 200 lunches featuring homemade chicken salad, pasta salad and fresh fruit for all of the hospital’s employees.

Reynolds said she had first heard about Danny Hayes, owner of the House of Fish, contributing meals to medical staff in Moore County.

“I wanted to bring them down here to Richmond County to help feed the employees down here at Richmond Memorial Hospital,” Reynolds said.

She added that because of the overwhelming support she received from the community earlier this year when she was burned in a kitchen fire, she wanted to give back.

“So now, in time of need, I want to support them,” Reynolds said. “So me and my crew pulled together and we made 200 plates.

“And what a better time? It’s Nurses Week.”

Reynolds reached out to Carrie Simmons with Feed the Fight Sandhills, who picked up the 50 bags and loaded them into her SUV before carrying them to the hospital.

According to Simmons, Feed the Fight was started in March by a friend of hers in Washington, D.C. who has a friend that is a nurse and another who is a restaurant owner.

“Her nurse friend was in a panic and her friend that owns a restaurant was shutting down and she thought, ‘What if I placed a big order and I delivered it to my friend,’” Simmons said.

“She did one delivery and then she told me about it the next day and I said, “You know, I could start that down here,’” Simmons recalled. “So I called FirstHealth and I proposed a partnership … and they said yes right away.”

Simmons then started raising money with a single email and word of mouth asking for donations to purchase meals.

“And it just kinda took off,” Simmons said.

The Sandhills chapter was second Feed the Fight group in the country, according to Simmons.

FirstHealth provided Simmons with departments throughout the health care system and as money is raised, orders are placed with local restaurants to be delivered, she said.

The goal, she added, is to help both restaurants — which have been limited by Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order to take-out and delivery orders only for nearly two months — and those in the medical field.

“I just really feel that medical workers are on the front lines of this (pandemic),” she said. “They’re risking their health, they’re risking their families every day.”

She also said local restaurants are suffering.

“You just look in the eyes of any restaurant owner and they just look punished,” Simmons added.

While most of the meals are going to just one department, Reynolds said she wanted to feed all of the hospital’s staff.

And instead of Feed the Fight purchasing the meals, Reynolds decided to donate.

“This is an incredible donation,” Simmons told her, thanking her and the entire Richmond County community.

“The outpouring of donations to our staff has gone a long way to boost morale during these stressful times,” said John Jackson, president of FirstHealth’s southern region and administrator of MRH-Richmond. “The donations of meals to our employees fuel our spirits.  We are extremely grateful for the generosity of The Grille, and we are inspired by the ongoing acts of kindness from our community to support the FirstHealth family.”

Simmons said the group has provided more than 700 meals to medical workers in the FirstHealth system since March 30 and plans to expand to other facilities owned by FirstHealth.

These were the first meals provided in Richmond County.

Reynolds has also partnered with Carolina Realty Company Southeast who purchased gift certificates.

Starting Monday, May 11, Carolina Realty is giving away 100 hamburger combo plates to health workers who present their ID at the office from noon-5 p.m.

“Our mission with our company is to give back to the community,” said Crystal Long.

The tickets will be available until they run out, Long added.