Jefferson Hospital in Washington Township enjoyed 800 meals from the local Amazon Fulfillment Center in West Deptford on Feb. 4 as thanks for the medical staff’s hard work and dedication during the pandemic.
“We typically like to be involved in the community around the South Jersey area,” said Roberto Miller, operations director at the Amazon facility. “A lot of the time we will get companies or organizations who will reach out to us for help or assistance. In this case, we wanted to get involved in the community because we have been through this COVID situation and understand the strain and stress it puts on the system.
“We wanted to give back.”
Amazon reached out to the hospital and asked about the best way it could give back to the medical staff. That’s when the idea of delivering meals to the hospital staff arose, and the source of those meals turned out to be a caterer with whom the fulfillment center had already done business.
“We bought the 800 meals from the Philadelphia Provision Company,” Miller said. “They are located in Stratford, which is again close to the (Amazon) site. … They do an excellent job … so we just leverage the relationship that we currently have to assist us with this donation.”
The caterer’s food ranged from chicken Parmesan and pulled pork mac ‘n’ cheese to vegetarian options and salads. Amazon drivers helped deliver the meals to the hospital’s nursing stations to make distribution easier.
“A bunch of the doctors that were on duty and the support staff that works at the building … were able to receive meals,” said Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly. “The meals were meant to feed everyone at least one meal if they were working that day.”
According to Miller, the meal donation was not the first or last time Amazon would give back to the community. In 2020, the fulfillment center received a New Neighbor Award from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association for its dedication to the community.
Kelly also said Amazon is the largest employer in the state, meaning it can reach out to any New Jersey community in need. Last year, Amazon created a partnership with the Clifton-based Boys and Girls Club of New Jersey and distributed $400,000 statewide, a quarter of which went to the South Jersey area.
“Our base of employees are from the local community,” Miller explained of Amazon. “They are the bread and butter of what we do, and they are our most important asset.
“We want to make sure we are doing right by them by investing back into places that they come from.”