HELENA — Health care workers and volunteers at the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds vaccination clinic are thanking the community for all the support they’ve received in the past months.
“It’s really awesome to see the outpouring of food and drinks to make sure everybody’s taken care of in those aspects and stuff,” said volunteer Jeff Patten.
While the vaccination clinic has been running, businesses, non-profits, church groups and local families have been buying snacks and dinners for the individuals working and volunteering to help vaccinate the community.
On Tuesday, owner of 406 Recycling Matt Elsaesser dropped off burritos from Taco del Sol to feed the workers and volunteers.
“We’re very grateful for what they’re doing here at the fairgrounds,” said Elsaesser. “In particular, we employ some employees with disabilities who have been vaccinated due to their vulnerability.”
A meal train has been set up to help coordinate donated meals. Clinic organizers say there are plenty of opportunities to donate meals in the coming weeks and months, and organizers strongly encourage getting meals from local businesses. Around $5,000 has gone directly to local businesses from individuals buying meals for the clinic workers and volunteers.
Due to COVID restrictions, donated food needs to be prepackaged or delivered from a restaurant or catering business.
The United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area and the Elkhorn COAD have been organizing volunteers for the vaccination clinic, including groups that have been providing snacks and drinks.
“This has been amazing. Everybody got together and said here’s the need, here’s the groups that can help out and everybody stepped up,” said United Way Executive Director Emily McVey.
McVey says she’s loved seeing so many groups come out to show their support for the clinic’s efforts.
“We’ve had people come through getting their shot that have had snacks they want to drop off to say thank you. It’s great,” said McVey.