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Local church donates 100 meals to Rowan Medical Center

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY – Rowan Medical Center has received more than 30 food donations in the past three weeks, and Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church in Salisbury increased that count on Wednesday by delivering 100 plates of food from Jeter’s Deli Cafe for hospital workers.

Rev. Roy Dennis, pastor at Gethsemane, said the donation was a way for the church to inject money into a local small business and show support for hospital workers who are on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Life’s so hectic. They don’t need to be sitting at home, fixing something right now,” Dennis said. “They should be able to come to work sometimes and just know that something is there.”

Dennis said the meals were not a major expense, and while churches are experiencing some financial difficulty amid the pandemic, he believes it was worthwhile.

“We want to help people, all the time,” Dennis said. “We can look at our finances and say, ‘Can we do it or can’t we?’ We didn’t have a choice. You’ve got to do things like this. God will bless you.”

Gethsemane distributes food every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Dennis said food distribution has been down slightly. He said that is probably the result of how much food support is available in the community due to the pandemic. He anticipates demand will go up.

This was the beginning of what Gethsemane hopes to be more contributions to the community.

Kristen Trexler, development manager for Novant Health Foundation at Rowan Medical, said the hospital has been overwhelmed by the support through food donations and supplies.

The foundation has also set up a COVID-19 disaster fund to help employees with essentials like lodging and child care.

Trexler said Novant asks people interested in giving to make sure food is pre-packaged or comes from a restaurant; the hospital can not accept homemade food.

Trexler said there are about 30 civic organizations she was able to track who have donated food, though there have been other donors.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity,” Trexler said.

Donations to the nonprofit health system can be made by following instructions on novanthealth.org/home/about-us/newsroom/coronavirus/giving.aspx.

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