Published on June 19, 2013

Nursing assistants get free lunch from Community Hospice

By Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union


The line was already long before noon Wednesday at the Brucci’s mobile pizzeria in the driveway between the St. Catherine Labouré Manor and St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside.

Certified nursing assistants in medical scrubs made up the line as they each received a free lunch during Community Hospice’s Great Food Truck Round-Up to celebrate Nursing Assistants Week (June 16-22).

Held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at eight hospice and health-care facility locations in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Macclenny, Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine, it was a nice way to show appreciation for what they do, nursing assistant Delores Lee said.

“It is wonderful,” Lee said. “I love the hospice program and it is marvelous. I think we do the best we can caring and loving people in difficult times.”

Cynthia Rogers, a nursing assistant in the hospital’s surgical ward, didn’t mind the wait as a fresh-baked pizza could be seen being sliced in the Brucci’s truck nearby.

“It is very compassionate to think of us and it is a wonderful idea knowing we are all one family,” Rogers said.

Community Hospice helps about 1,300 patients and their families cope with advanced illness at home, in health-care facilities and hospitals and its six inpatient centers in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

The food truck celebration honored an estimated 800 nursing assistants at St. Catherine’s, Orange Park Medical Center, Quality Health of Fernandina Beach, Community Hospice Bailey Family Center for Caring at Flagler Hospital and Macclenny Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Other food trucks went to Community Hospice’s main operation on Sunbeam Road as well as its Anne and Donald McGraw Center for Caring next to Mayo Clinic and Lanier Manor.

Started last year with five food trucks, the tribute was expanded this year to give back to those who “we couldn’t do the work without them,” hospice spokeswoman Mitzi Saul said.

The trucks were operated by Brucci’s, Gourmet Aviator, Dagwood’s, The Super Food Truck, Driftwood Barbecue, Mother Fletcher’s, Wiki Wiki and Monster Burger.