D.R.E.A.M. Foundation Collaborates in Hot Meal Drop-Offs to Health Care Heroes

The D.R.E.A.M. Foundation and our partners delivered more than 1,500 hot meals, over a six-week period, to healthcare workers who are saving lives in the battle against the deadly coronavirus.

These heroes have been on the frontlines serving the hardest-hit neighborhoods across New York City – especially during the height of the pandemic when they were most needed.

“The hot meals we personally delivered are a small token of appreciation for the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice of the health care professionals who serve our communities,” said DeCosta Headley, Founder of the D.R.E.A.M. Foundation. “We depend on them to save lives in these challenging times.”

New York City was the epicenter of the crisis during the early months of the pandemic. The scale was staggering. Public health officials recorded more than 200,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and well over 21,000 deaths during the first 12 weeks of the outbreak.

Health care professionals worked around the clock in an uphill battle. Many hospitals ran out of beds and ventilators, as the number of critically sick patients overwhelmed the system.

By the end of May, more than 60,000 health care workers were themselves infected, and nearly 300 of them died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In appreciation for their sacrifices, we partnered with the social services agency Living PositiveMarsh, the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser, and the building restoration company CPR Restoration and Cleaning Services to provide meals to hospital workers at a total of eight health care facilities located in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Linden Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, Brooklyn (May 20)

The coronavirus death toll in nursing homes and adult care facilities in New York State exceeded 6,000 by the end of May. Seniors were particularly vulnerable to the virus.

H&H Gotham Morrisania – Bronx (May 22)

H&H Gotham Morrisania served as a Covid-19 testing site in addition to providing care to patients who contracted the illness. Testing was essential to stemming the spread of the highly contagious virus. 

 BronxCare (May 27)

At the height of the pandemic, BronxCare set up a separate triage tent to manage Covid-19 patients when its emergency room overflowed.

Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx (May 27)

Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx garnered media attention in early May when the staff discharged its 5,000th Covid-19 patient. Hubert Herrera Vanegas spent 20 days in Montefiore’s ICU during the hospital’s successful treatment.           

Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Queens (May 28)

The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center served as a crucial testing site at the height of the pandemic and utilized a $1.2 million in emergency funding through Congressman Gregory Meeks’ office to increase its capacity to provide care.

Interfaith Medical Center, Brooklyn (May 29) 

nterfaith Medical Center is in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Those two communities were among the five hardest-hit neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

“We are honored to recognize the essential workers’ daily commitment to our community,” said Celine Bobb Inniss, Director of Living Positive. “This initiative not only provided a token of appreciation for the frontline workers but also supported restaurants that struggled to maintain their business and their staff in these uncertain times.”

David Arturi, an Assistant Vice President with Marsh who spearheaded the effort on behalf of the company said it was “an honor” for Marsh to support frontline workers during these challenging times.

“I know from personal experience how much these meals mean to health care workers here in New York,” Arturi added.

Troy A. Brocco of CPR Restoration and Cleaning Services said, “As a Business Development Manager of an Emergency Service Company, I am very cognizant of the importance of essential workers. This initiative to feed those who serve others is a token of appreciation that is well deserved. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to participate.”

Mr. Headley has been a philanthropist for more than 40 years. During that time, he has partnered with numerous community organizations and corporate donors to feed financially struggling people in underserved communities.

The D.R.E.A.M. Foundation continues that work. In its third year, the foundation has given almost 2,000 turkeys to families and churches, provided nutritious meals at schools, and hosted community luncheons.

During the pandemic, the foundation supported students in need at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn through its partnership with the college’s Transition Academy program. The program offers a range of services, from helping students navigate the New York City Department of Social Service’s shelter intake process to maintaining a campus food pantry.