Amy Crist-Clark receives meals from Darren Lindsay

Supporting Medical Personnel and West St. Paul Restaurants

Thanks to Pace’s Tire and Service Center for their support. They specialize in personal, bumper-to-bumper auto care and repairs on foreign and domestic cars and trucks.

Last week West St. Paul residents delivered 30 meals from local restaurant El Cubano to medical workers in the Birth Center at Regions Hospital and another 16 meals at Regions’ Surgical ICU. It’s an effort to support local restaurants and medical personnel at the same time.

The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $1,200 from 30 people so far.

The Response

“The medical workers seem grateful that people are thinking of them and have appreciated the kindness of the community,” says organizer and West St. Paul resident Stephanie Weiss.

The effort is also designed to support West St. Paul restaurants.

“We have a great community of family-owned restaurants,” says Weiss. “Our restaurants are getting hit and this is a small way to show we stand with them.”

Many restaurants, eager to support medical personnel, have generously offered discounts on food, which Weiss has declined. The goal is to support both medical workers and local restaurants.

Inspired by Others

Weiss wanted to support her brother, an ER and flight nurse in Alaska, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her brother was making personal protective equipment (PPE) for his colleagues, so Weiss decided to help.

“At first I thought I’d get a sewing machine and support his work,” Weiss says. “But I’m a horrible seamstress.”

News reports about exhausted medical workers in New York and Washington and a previous West St. Paul effort to buy gift cards for Oxendale’s employees from local restaurants, spearheaded by Ken Paulman, made Weiss think more locally.

​”I am doing it in honor of my brother from here in the lower 48,” Weiss says, “to give people in West St. Paul a chance to contribute to something meaningful at a time when life feels a little out of our control, to try to have a positive impact on our community restaurants, and to support medical workers.”

West St. Paul Strong

“I used to be a member of the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights Rotary, and I know that our family-owned restaurants are engaged in our community,” says Weiss. She notes the many ways local restaurants are involved, from contributing to local fundraisers to employing local students.

“At the end of the day, this effort might turn out to be primarily symbolic,” says Weiss. “But I hope not, because there’s no denying that money spent locally stays in a community longer than money someone spends at a chain. We need that now. We need our hard-earned money to support our friends and neighbors who have been there when we’ve asked for their help.”

While Weiss is organizing the effort, she’s not alone. She’s had help from her neighbors: Paulman organized and reached out to restaurants and Katie Dohman raised awareness on social media. Darren Lindsey delivered food, pictured above with West St. Paul resident and nurse Amy Crist-Clark.

You Can Help

Another round of meals is in the works, and Weiss will share details on the GoFundMe page when the next delivery is coordinated. You can support these efforts by making a donation.

Update (April 21, 2020)

This effort provided a coffee break for 100 staff at Regions’ mental health department on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The coffee and cookies came from Amore Coffee.

Mister Rogers always said to look for the helpers. If you want to hear more about helpers in West St. Paul, you can support West St. Paul Reader by becoming a patron or making a one-time donation.

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