BURLINGTON, Vt. (WFFF) – On Monday morning, breakfast was served, but not at the counter — at an entire floor of the University of Vermont Medical Center.
“I got a phone call saying, ‘Hey, we want to help provide some meals for some of the nurses up at the hospital.’ And I was like ‘Sure, I’m your man, I got this,” said Early Handy, third generation owner of Handy’s Lunch.
That phone call came from ELEV802, a hockey training facility in Essex Junction whose staff wanted to give back to the community.
“We wanted to do something, but we just didn’t know what. I talked to a few doctors and people that worked at the hospital.” said Kevin Sneddon, former UVM hockey coach and ELEV802 president.
He says they turned to Handy’s Lunch to place a generous order for a group of hospital staff, donating $750 dollars.
“And so, then I was thinking, let’s expand this even more,” said Handy.
Inspired, Handy created a fundraiser to provide more meals, encouraging the community’s support and tracking the progress in the front window. As of Monday afternoon, he raised over $2,000 and saw support from not only the community, but around the region and across the country.
“All of our customers are right here. And they are the nurses, the doctors, and the janitors, and all of the administrators at the hospital. And we can’t just expect them to do everything without showing them support,” said Handy.
And two UVMMC nurses said they greatly appreciated this act of kindness.
“To know that our community knows that we’re still here, fighting the good fight, taking care of people. Being on this floor is kind of special and precious, too, because we know we’re taking care of the community and they’re taking care of us as well,” said nurse Amanda Young who provides direct care to COVID-19 patients.
Handy says the $750 donation from ELEV802 is enough to provide meals two more times this week. All donations directly fund these meals. Those interested in helping, can Venmo donations to @Earl-Handy or send a message to Handy’s Lunch on Instagram for more information.
“This is why we’re here, you know, not just have an environment inside these four walls but to provide something outside these four walls as well,” said Handy.