Photo Essay: One Town’s Volunteer Effort to Sustain Health Care Workers, Keep Local Businesses Going

Plus video of Ramsey Strong at work; the organization has delivered thousands of meals to area health-care workers
Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
Sue Turk and Tony Lotito of Lotito’s Deli & Bakery in Ramsey load up boxes of Easter dinners for delivery to staff at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

Grassroots networks have sprung up in towns across New Jersey as elsewhere in the U.S., mobilizing to support frontline health care workers in any way they can amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In northern Bergen County, the newly formed Ramsey Strong, Supporting True Heroes Group has raised more than $51,000 to pay for meals for health care workers at local hospitals — with the aim of also helping local eateries to remain open. The volunteer group has distributed nearly 5,000 meals to staff at the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, Hackensack Meridian University Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus and others.

Food drops by Ramsey Strong and other local volunteer networks take place quickly in the hospital parking lots so that meals are ready for staff members when they come off shift.

Last weekend, as well as continuing their meal delivery, Ramsey Strong volunteers tried to brighten health care workers’ day with Easter treats.

Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
On Easter Sunday, Donna Corrieri of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Paramus waits to receive boxes of chocolates and Easter bunnies.

 

Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
A staff member at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood picks up food donated by the Ramsey Strong, Supporting True Heroes volunteer group.

 

Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
Staff members leaving Valley Hospital in Ridgewood at the end of their shift on Easter Sunday.

 

Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
Staff members at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood pick up Easter dinners provided by the Ramsey Strong, Supporting True Heroes group.

 

Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
Anila Cafuli, wearing Easter bunny ears, thanks Ramsey Strong volunteers who provided Easter dinners to staff at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. She works in the ICU department at Valley.

 

Credit: Thomas E. Franklin
Signs thanking Valley Hospital staffers are posted along N. Van Dien Avenue in Ridgewood.

@tomefran