The 494 King restaurant and Cocoa Pesto Catering in Windsor, N.S., have been closed for several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-owner Scott Geddes says he had to lay off 17 people at a time they would be usually ramping up for the busy season.
But the staff are back together volunteering their time to cook, prepare and deliver over 300 meals to seniors and health care works in Windsor.
“We’re doing a classic Nova Scotia turkey dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatos, vegetables, and of course pie,” said Scott Geddes.
The idea originated from the owner of Brison Developments, Mitch Brison, who owns The Crossings retirement community. Brison then approached Geddes to see if they would be willing to help.
Geddes says there was no hesitation.
“It’s good for the community, certainly makes us feel good that we’re contributing in some way,” said Geddes.
“We’ve just been sitting on our hands for the past three and a half weeks and that’s not something we’re good at.”
The food is all paid for by Brison, and was made available to anyone in the community who wanted a meal.
“The community is important to me, the people are what make it a community,” he said. “So we thought it’d be a nice gesture.
“A lot of our folks are single, or couples, but they’re not able to visit with their grandchildren and families this Easter, so a lot of folks would not be cooking a big meal for one or two people,” said Betty Crockett, manager of The Crossing.
Crockett said they phoned each resident to see who would want a meal, and she says the majority of individuals gladly accepted the offer.
“We have one of our residents, she literally cried on the phone. She thought this was so amazing,” said Crockett.
The Crossings community is usually a vibrant and social community, where most residents get together often for numerous activities, from playing cards, to bowling, to a night of dinner theatre. But like most Nova Scotians they are now taking physical distancing rules seriously, and staying home to both limit the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect themselves from getting it.
“We want people to be happy on this very lonely Easter,” said Crockett.
In addition to preparing meals for the seniors, they’re also preparing nearly 3 dozen meals for health-care workers who are spending their Easter working at the Hants Community Hospital.
“Our health-care workers are on the front line of this battle that we’re on. They’re putting in tireless hours and they deserve anything we can do for them right now,” said Geddes.
“The hospital workers, some of them are isolating themselves, not seeing their family so we thought it’d be a nice gesture to give them a meal this afternoon,” said Brison.
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