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'Adopt-A-Unit' brings meals to ChristianaCare staffers

Amanda Parrish * Delaware
aparrish@doverpost.com
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

This Newark restaurant found a way to stay afloat while helping the pandemic.

Home Grown Cafe partnered with ChristianaCare to start “Adopt-A-Unit” to provide meals to hospital employees. Units have 10-70 employees.

People can donate any amount to Home Grown, which goes toward making the food for the healthcare workers. The café figures out how many meals they can provide with the money and tells a ChristianaCare liaison the number. The liaison figures out how many and which units to serve.

Sasha Aber, owner of Home Grown, said every dollar donated goes into the fund, with most people are giving $10-$25.

“People can give anything they want. They can give $1 or give $500,” Aber said. “Anything that is put in is buying a meal.”

She and her employees wanted to do something for healthcare workers who are putting themselves at risk, so she contacted to ChristianaCare.

“Everyone feels like there isn’t much they can do,” the café owner said. “So we came up with this program where the general public can actually buy meals for healthcare employees, and then we make the food and bring it to the different units [at the hospitals].” Most of the units they are serving have 20-45 people.

Aber said the café has already received emails from employees who are excited.

“I think it will be some cheer to everything going on right now. It’s about the little things these days,” she said.

Aber plans to deliver 255 lunches in total to Christiana Hospital in Newark April 6, Wilmington Hospital April 8 and Middletown Emergency Department April 10.

She said she will call the unit when she arrives. Representatives from ChristianaCare will meet her with a cart, and they take the food in, so she doesn’t enter the hospital.

Janice Nevin, ChristianaCare president and chief executive officer, said in a statement she and other staffers appreciate the community’s generosity.

“Our business and education community partners have been extraordinary,” Nevin said. “I am deeply grateful and feel honored to be part of such an amazing community. We are in this together.”

Aber emphasized Home Grown is only donating paper products and free delivery.

“It’s a good program, but it’s not a charity program,” she said. “It’s keeping us in business.”

Home Grown has raised enough money for two more weeks, Aber said, and she wants to continue until the crisis subsides. Right now, she said, mostly individuals are donating, but any group, business or organization can sponsor a unit.

“This isn’t ending anytime soon,” she said. “Hopefully, we can continue the same amount of volume.”

She hopes to expand to other healthcare organizations and hospitals.

“The possibilities are endless,” Aber said.

People can make contributions in person when they go into the restaurant for takeout.

Those who want to donate online should visit:

• homegrowncafe.com

•gofundme.com/f/adoptaunit-christiana-care

• Home Grown’s Facebook page

• the Grubhub app.