Nfld. & Labrador

Comfort food in uncomfortable times: Mount Pearl restaurants bringing meals to COVID-19 test sites

Several restaurants and businesses across the city have come on board since testing started at Mount Pearl Senior High School last week, including Sushi Island, Ches's Famous Fish & Chips, and Tim Hortons.

Restaurants working to provide 135 meals a day

Smitty's Restaurant owner Clifford Small loads up a car with pancakes that will be delivered to workers at Mount Pearl's COVID-19 testing sites. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Restaurants in Mount Pearl are coming together to lift spirits and feed those working on COVID-19 testing sites in the city.

Several restaurants and businesses across the city have come on board since testing started at Mount Pearl Senior High last week, including Ches's Famous Fish & Chips, Sushi Island and Tim Hortons.

Tuesday marked Smitty's Restaurant's turn to provide meals to the testing site, choosing an annual favourite to mark Shrove Tuesday.

"Once upon a time, Smitty's was known as Smitty's Pancake House," said Clifford Small, owner of the Mount Pearl restaurant, which he said donated 150 pancake meals Tuesday.

"It's a privilege for us to be able to get involved with the community and to provide some meals to the staff of Eastern Health that are providing such a crucial service in the great testing that they're doing."

Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker helped deliver meals to the testing site at Mount Pearl Senior High on Tuesday. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Mount Pearl Mayor Dave Aker said the municipality has received calls from businesses across the city who want to be a part of the support effort. Aker himself pitched in as a delivery driver Tuesday.

"In this province, Pancake Day has always been associated with church suppers and fundraising," he said. "Today I guess our focus is on those that are making us healthy and safe.

"They're very appreciative. I was talking to a medical manager yesterday who said how it's the small things that matter at this time."

WATCH | Cec Haire on how restaurants in Mount Pearl are sending food to the front line: 

Getting food to the front line

1 year ago
Duration 2:07
Cec Haire reports on how restaurants in Mount Pearl are pitching in to feed front-line workers

Aker said the city is delivering 135 orders a day between the city's two testing facilities with numbers expected to go up as testing sites increase. But with all the changes, restaurants are taking it in stride.

"I think it's fantastic," he said. "Not every restaurant is doing well, not every business has done well. But those that have been involved in the community here in the past … they're stepping up now in this time of need and they're putting community health and safety ahead of profit. And it's really good to see them stepping up."

Other restaurants from across the city have been donating meals to COVID-19 test sites, including this message of encouragement that came on a pizza box from Domino's Pizza. (City of Mount Pearl/Twitter)

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Cec Haire