ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s been a tough few weeks for Seasons Catering as coronavirus canceled hundreds of local events.
“We’ve lost proms, weddings, the tattoo show that was supposed to come, there’re just those group restrictions, so it’s been a big challenge,” explains Courtney Gemmett.
But Gemmett says the loss in revenue didn’t stop Seasons from wanting to give back. It took less than a week for staff at the catering company in Colonie to come up with the single largest food donation to Albany Med — around 4000 meals worth more than $14,000. She says it’s all to thank healthcare workers and staff working the difficult front line against the coronavirus.
“There’s people that are out there that are, you know, risking their health and they’re away from their families, at Albany Med that aren’t getting the chance to have a meal,” Gemmett explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
Despite their business losses, the caterers didn’t take a dime from the community or from the healthcare workers, providing all the food for free.
“Some families don’t have money that they want to spend, they have a family and it’s hard to justify going out to eat. So being able to have that quick meal, and being able to have something that’s filling and going back to work, I think it’s really important for them,” Gemmett says.
Seasons has since started a GoFundMe to continue the food donations at Albany Med and St. Peters. Friday’s donation came as one of three parts spanning, Thursday to Monday. Seasons had a huge helping hand from the Logan Strong Foundation. The organization’s president, Jennifer Hendricks-Fogg, has a special connection with Albany Med after they saved her son from a very rare brain tumor.
“If it wasn’t for my son being diagnosed with cancer at an early age, Albany Med saving his life, the foundation wouldn’t exist, and it’s just all about paying it forward and giving back,” Fogg explains.
Logan Strong Foundation contributed $5000 to food costs and helped coordinate the set up with Albany Med. The staff there are grateful to get some fresh air and good food that brings them together.
“What [the medical staff] are doing is really intense. A lot of sick patients, you know a lot of very ill people, and unfortunately a few people dying. So to have this out here, to have this respite for them, it’s really, really important to their mental health,” says Albany Med General Hospital Director Dr. Ferdinand Venditti.
“You gotta eat. You’ve got to take time for yourself, as much time as they’re taking for us and treating us and treating the community, they need to be taken care of as well,” says Fogg.