BARTONSVILE, PA – An unexpected relationship between St. Luke’s Hospice and the Bartonsville Chick-Fil-A restaurant has brought tasty meals to end-of-life patients and their families.
It all began early in the pandemic when the administrative assistant at Hospice learned that the local Chick-Fil-A franchise, a restaurant chain that specializes in chicken, was offering free meals to first responders, said Michele Warner, Manager, St. Luke’s Hospice, Stroudsburg. The Hospice staff knew of an elderly couple who they thought would benefit from a tasty meal. The patient was homebound and her husband couldn’t get her to eat anything. He wanted something special that might appeal to her but didn’t want to go out because at that time older adults were advised to stay home. Plus he didn’t want to take the chance of being exposed to COVID that could be passed to his wife, who was very ill.
Hospice reached out to Amanda Morris, owner operator of the restaurant, which is located on Route 611, across from the St. Luke’s Monroe Campus. Amanda was delighted to help. She provided free chicken soup for the patient along with a meal for her husband. While the patient had previously showed no interest in food, she thoroughly enjoyed the soup, savoring every last spoonful.
“It’s like she could sense that it came from a place of pure love and she just couldn’t get enough of it,” Michele said.
Amanda encouraged Hospice to contact her whenever there was a need or special occasion, Warner said. Over the next several months Chick-Fil-A provided meals for patients who were celebrating what would be the last birthday or anniversary. These were not just simple meals for one or two, but four-course feasts for up to 10 people. She also gave gift cards, desserts and flowers. She even brought dishes that weren’t on the menu and always asked how many people were in the family so there would be plenty for everyone.
“I was delighted to help,” Amanda said. “I feel really blessed to partner with Hospice to give back in this way. We are fortunate that we have been so supported by the community.”
On Christmas Eve, Amanda arranged to have a dinner delivered to a family of five. The patient’s adult daughter deserved a little help to make the day special, Warner said. She had her hands full caring for her seriously ill father while also working and mothering her two children. In addition, her work hours had been cut due the pandemic, making money tight. In addition to the full holiday meal, Amanda brought the children clothes and fun items that she, her daughter and a couple of Chick-Fil-A team leaders had shopped for.
The relationship continues with the latest gift delivery occurring in late April. “I love the idea of helping Hospice patients and being able to brighten their days,” Amanda said. “We’re hoping to continue this long term and build the relationship to see where it leads. It brings me and my team so much joy. We are the lucky ones.”