ATLANTA - The medical professionals at Piedmont Hospital are truly on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. But last Friday, for at least a few minutes, they were just folks in the lunch line.
Atlanta’s own The Queso Truck spent several hours at Piedmont Hospital Friday, serving lunch and dinner to the hospital’s tireless workers. It was the truck’s first time at the hospital, an occasion of importance not lost on Director of Operations Thom Pate.
"These people are putting their lives on the line every single day. To be invited out here to feed them is a real privilege, a real honor,” Pate says.
Before the pandemic, The Queso Truck was a popular option at local office parks and for catering large events. But right now, it and sister-truck Yumbii are spending time at the offices of essential employees, something Pate says has been a blessing to business.
"Last year, we had a huge year with this truck, and obviously this year, we're just more focused on keeping our folks employed. So far we haven't had to lay anybody off, we'd really like to continue that,” he says. "I've actually been able to hire a couple of people, which is really close to my heart because obviously so many people need jobs right now that that's something we want to be able to offer."
Of course, the blessing for them is also a blessing for staffers at Piedmont Hospital, who say working long hours right now means lots of cravings for different food options. "Oh, it's awesome,” says Takia Jones. “Different from the cafeteria food or bringing food from home. It's a nice touch."
And hospital employees say knowing that the teams behind food trucks like The Queso Truck especially want to serve workers on the front lines is nourishing to more than just the body.
"I feel honored. Very much honored,” says Joya Ellington. “And appreciated."