TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett and his wife Jordanna Barrett spent Thursday morning delivering over 100 meals to the nurses and staff at Tampa General Hospital.
“The opportunity arose from one of the guys with my agency,” Barrett said. “He told me there was a chance to give back and help out the front line responders and it’s a chance that me and my wife jumped at because with all the stuff going on in the world we’ve got to show our support, show that we care. Everybody’s affected. It’s affecting everyone so we just had to jump on and partner up with Eat Right and show that we care– and keep showing that we care because it’s not over just with this. We’re doing everything we can to help out.”
Barrett and Eat Right Meal Plans co-founders Cameron Fulks and Colby Fox unloaded the meals from their car onto carts to be taken into the hospital for the nurses, who have been working tirelessly through the coronavirus pandemic to provide care to their patients.
Barrett, Fulks and Fox met with two nurses from the hospital who came outside, getting to personally thank them for the work they were doing.
“It’s so emotional because the nursing team here are so dedicated to our patients and to our community and to giving,” said Wendi Goodson-Celerin, Vice President for Acute Care, Neuroscience and Orthopedics at Tampa General Hospital.
“It’s what we do, We’re compassionate about our care, We’re there when families aren’t there and to see this type of support– just the outpouring from our community to show their appreciation, it just gives you chills,” Goodson-Celerin said “It just reinforces that what we do, it is recognized. It is appreciated. We live it and do it every day because that’s what we love to do and to know that our community is behind us and showing us these kind acts is just amazing. In this difficult time, it’s just what this world needs to see more of.”
“We probably all know this but sometimes it’s the small things that mean the most,” said Candace Amato, Director of Nursing for the Medicine Division at TGH. “The fact that [the nurses] don’t have to worry about having to leave the unit to go get a meal. It makes us proud to be a nurse. It makes us proud to be in this community. This is an unprecedented time so the fact that we can all come together, regardless of what’s happening, that we have the love and support of the community and the people is more meaningful than I could even convey in words.”
The company that provided the food, Eat Right, is a meal delivery service headquartered in Tampa that ships locally and also in Dallas, Texas and will soon deliver nationwide.
They work with and deliver meals to many of the Buccaneers players, which was the origin of this partnership with Barrett to give back– something that was already part of Eat Right’s mission.
“It feels good just to come out and show them my appreciation,” Barrett said. “I can’t imagine what they’ve been going through. I see the news, I see cases and number and it’s actually not numbers. It’s people that they’re seeing on a daily basis that don’t make it and it’s sad. I just can’t imagine what they’re going through. Just to show them any appreciation, that’s all I’m trying to do. Just let them know that I don’t know what they’re doing through but I can try to understand it.”
“When this whole pandemic started we thought it was definitely time for us to make sure we were doing everything we could for front line employees,” Fulks said. “Since the inception of Eat Right, we’ve donated one meal for every meal that we’ve ever made. But since the pandemic started since the beginning of March, we’ve been feeding 1,000 front line personnel at various hospitals, sheriff’s office, police department, the mayor’s office. We definitely wanted to do what we could to help our community.”
For more information on Eat Right click here.