Seminole nonprofit shows appreciation for health care workers, first responders with warm meals

15,000 meals distributed thus far

SANFORD, Fla. – A nonprofit in Seminole County has been doing its part during the global coronavirus crisis by providing daily warm meals for those working on the front lines.

For the past two months, Veda Foundation has been distributing freshly made meals like vegetarian pizza, lo mein and Indian fried rice.

The foundation’s vice president said they’ve been feeding the homeless for almost two years but they shifted gears once they realized it was important to show health care workers and first responders their appreciation.

“We decided to extend our efforts a little more and we began providing meals for firefighters, police officers and health care workers,” said John Gross, vice president of Veda Foundation.

"To receive these gifts of gratitude back to our staff has been so meaningful to them," Cheryl Paul, chief nursing officer at Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford said.

The staff there is among several around Central Florida being treated to lunch by the foundation.

“It just helps the team to know that the community appreciates everything that they do every day,” Paul said.

It’s a heartwarming gesture for health care workers risking their lives to save others.

"We've been going out to all the hospitals, police stations, and fire stations. All the way from Maitland to Orlando down to Daytona Beach," Sam Kanni, a volunteer with Veda Foundation said. "We feel confident that by doing that and helping out, that people will be inspired to come forward and help us continue more."

Representatives with the foundation said they are living up to their motto: simple living in higher thinking.

"When we say higher thinking we mean thinking beyond our own personal needs, beyond ourselves," Gross said. "We just want to make sure that they feel supported and appreciated."

Since starting the free meals distribution, foundation officials said they’ve handed out about 15,000 hot meals.

“This is not just during the pandemic, it will be an ongoing thing and we are here to support them in whatever we can going forward,” Kanni said.

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.