Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation Honors Essential Workers with a Full Day of Meals

The COVID-19 crisis has rightfully highlighted many of Henry Ford Health System’s healthcare heroes—physicians, nurses and other medical staff on the frontlines. But another group of Henry Ford employees also provide critical services that keep our health system clean and running efficiently day after day: our housekeepers, culinary staff, parking services and security professionals.

The Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation was inspired to thank these unsung workers with a special surprise: meal boxes for Henry Ford Hospital employees to bring home and share with their families. Because many essential employees work long shifts and do not always have time to go to the grocery store, the Dresner Foundation donated food boxes that contained all the ingredients and beverages they would need for a gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner for two. The boxes, which also held a message of appreciation from the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, were distributed to 860 employees on April 29, 2020 at Henry Ford ArtBlock, an art infused community space close to Henry Ford Hospital’s campus that the two organizations launched together last year.

The response was tremendous: recipients not only felt recognized for their hard work but also celebrated for their roles in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our staff have been thrust into the position of frontline workers. They are here faithfully, risking their lives to make sure our patients and employees are welcomed into Henry Ford Hospital in a professional and respectful manner,” said Latina V. Blessett, a supervisor in parking services. “The gift of boxes of food to our team showed them that they are not forgotten. The smiles on their faces, the joy in their voices, the words of gratefulness from everyone receiving your gift box mean more that words can express.”

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