San Diego businesses, graduates help to feed hospital workers

Posted at 11:00 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 18:12:05-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Damien Devine, owner of Torpasta, said it was just about a week ago when he received a message from a local nurse at the COVID-19 unit at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

The nurse wrote in through their website describing how food remained essential and acted as fuel for her team, so she wanted to purchase meals for them.

"Of course, we'll deliver your team food," Devine said.

But when the nurse said she would provide her credit card number, he couldn't get himself to charge her card given the sacrifices her team was making around the recent coronavirus pandemic.

"That inspired me to figure this out so I created a GoFundMe page to help bring food to nurses and doctors on the front lines," Devine said.

Devine has raised more than $2,500 to date and has provided meals to Sharp, Kaiser and Rady's Children's hospitals, since. (To donate, click here.)

"It helps me bring them food for free and it allows me keep some of my staff employed," Devine added.

Since contributing meals to hospitals, comments on social media and messages have poured in. One nurse messaged him and said, "you have given me faith in humanity again which is something we nurses have to dig down deep to find these days. I'm going to share this so far and wide."

Devine said after his efforts, he found out several organizations and individuals were also helping hospital workers through GoFundMe efforts, including University of San Diego MBA graduate Monty Fernandez.

"I always try to reach out and give back to our community in times of need," Fernandez said.

She turned to GoFundMe after a late night brainstorming session with classmates. She said they were thinking of ways to help the community while utilizing their business skills. Thanks to their efforts, 1,200 hospital workers were fed this past weekend with pizzas from Woodstock. Their page had an original goal of $200 and to their surprise, exceeded $1,500.

"I was really overwhelmed and surprised, it was incredible to see people coming together," Fernandez said.