BOSTON (CBS) — Health care workers are putting in long hours toward the fight against coronavirus. With the expected COVID-19 surge just days away, the Perrina brothers are trying to make sure doctors and nurses have the energy they need to keep going.
Brothers, Angelo, Lucio, and Valentino Perrina founded Nutre Meals, a healthy meal plan program, in 2017. They are working around the clock to feed those in the thick of the coronavirus outbreak by distributing food to several local hospitals.
“We are not saying no to anybody,” Valentino Perrina said when talking about the donation-based program.
With family in Italy, the Perrinas knew what was coming.
“When the virus first hit the Italian soil, that’s where all our family is, we started getting the intel of what was going on over there and really started to see and the first impression was ‘oh my gosh, what’s going to happen to the hospitals? How are they going to handle it over here?’”
One month later, they are doing what they can to help several local hospitals including Lahey Clinic and Cambridge Health Alliance locations, Lawrence General, Lowell General, and Mount Auburn.
The brothers are receiving thank you messages from nurses day and night.
“She sent me a picture this morning at 3 a.m. Her in her mask, at her desk and pretty much said I haven’t eaten anything in 12 to 24 hours you were the first meal that I had,” Valentino said.
“Some are explaining how they are specifically being affected by this, how they are used to working in a different ward and now they are being trained to go over to another one and they are working double shifts exhausted. They want to isolate themselves. They don’t want to go to grocery stores and potentially infect other people so it’s really motivating us to keep going. It’s inspiring for sure,” Angelo added.
The meals are prepared and delivered to the hospitals.
“Having healthier meals at the actual hospital, it’s incredibly convenient for them, it’s also different than eating pizza, for example. When you eat a pizza it holds you down a little bit and doesn’t give you as much energy,” Valentino explained.
And of as last week, they’ve started delivering directly to nurses’ homes.
“I think the last they want to do is cook or the last thing they want to do figure out a way to get take out or go grocery shopping,” he added.
All of this is donation-based — and Patriots nation is stepping up to help.
“Hey what’s up, Joejaun Williams here from the New England Patriots. I just want to show my love and support for everybody that’s working in the health service industry right now during these troubling times,” said the New England Patriots cornerback in a video.
Together, Joejuan Williams, J.C. Jackson, Keionte Davis, Jonathan Jones, Shaq Mason, and Nkeal Harry have put up hundreds of meals and the Perrina brothers are doubling the donations.
As Bill Belichick always says, we all have to do our job.
“Go Pats and lets tackle corona together,” Williams said.
“They are going to go down in history as the heroes of this generation,” Perrina said.
The goal is to get to 10,000 meals. However, the brothers think they will soon surpass that goal and will be setting a new one.