Bergen County Businesses Surprise Valley Hospital With Free Meals
Inspired by the sacrifices our front-line medical workers are making during the COVID-19 crisis, a team of Bergen County businesses joined forces to provide free meals to hard working ER doctors and nurses at Valley Hospital.
The effort was spearheaded by Peter Salerno, CMKBD, owner of Wyckoff’s Peter Salerno Inc. With the assistance of Sunrise Bagels of Wyckoff (their neighbors on Goffle Road) and E&S Foods, an idea was born.
“I was inspired by my daughter Gabby Mayer’s dear friend Sarah Jeane, a nurse (and front line hero) at Valley Hospital,” Peter Salerno said. “Her courage compelled me to help the front line. With the support and encouragement of my wife Tracy, I called my cousin Joe Guttilla of E&S Foods for help with supplies. His generosity, as always, was monumental.”
Now that Peter had food and supplies, he needed assistance putting meals together from a local business. He couldn’t have imagined how generous a friend and neighbor would be.
“I reached out to the owners of Sunrise Bagels, Manish (Sam) Aggarwal and his wife Seema,” Peter continued. “They immediately opened up their kitchen to me, where we prepared two sets of meals for 40 doctors and nurses in the Valley Hospital ER.”
Manish, Seema and Peter got to work, donning full gloves and masks before getting to work. They created 40 dinners of eggplant Parmesan and salad for Friday night, and penne with meatballs and salad for lunch Saturday afternoon.
Bergen County is statistically the hardest-hit New Jersey county in terms of COVID-19 cases (as of this publication). As of April 28, 2020, Bergen County experienced 15,104 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a death toll nearing 1,000 individuals.
Front-line medical workers in Bergen County have been taxed enormously in terms of time, personal health and risk of exposure. In a time where people are asked to take extra precautions and practice social distancing, it is difficult to find ways to show support to these brave people.
“I felt so helpless during this difficult times. It felt so good to be able to do something for those heroes who are out there every day saving lives,” Peter Salerno reflected.
The hashtag #ValleyStrong is prevalent in the Bergen County (and Valley Hospital) area. We couldn’t support (and agree with) it more.