From providing medical center staff, firefighters, paramedics, and police officers with complimentary freshly prepared meals from Serramonte Center eateries to creating a make-shift drive-through distribution center supporting a local food bank, several initiatives have recently blossomed in Daly City, CA. Throughout the course of five recent Fridays, Marketing and Events Manager Marie Villarosa and her team hosted ‘First Responder Friday’ appreciation events to thank first responders and health care heroes. Participating restaurants included Ike’s Sandwiches, California Fish Grill, MOD Pizza, and Starbucks.
First responders and health care workers line up on a recent Friday for complimentary meals
We advertised the events on Instagram, Facebook and our website a day or two before each event,” said Marie Villarosa, Marketing and Events Manager at Serramonte. “Depending on the restaurant that was participating, the first responders and health care heroes could either place an order over the phone for pick-up or stop by and order take out. Each Friday an average of 100 meals were given out at each location during the two-hour meal promotion window.
Fifty meals from California Fish Grill were also donated directly to Seton Medical Center. Villarosa said that when the restaurant’s lighting vendor found out what the team was doing and thought it was “such a great cause,” they threw in $500 additional dollars to provide more meals.
Serramonte Center's California Fish Grill was one of the center's eateries participating in the initiative
“This gesture was nourishing in a number of ways, but especially by showing your solidarity and support of our efforts here at Seton Medical Center,” said Jessica Belknap-Blood, RDN, Interim Director of Nutrition and Food Services at Seton Medical Center. “The meals from California Fish Grill were delicious — I thank you for collaborating in such a fantastic fashion.”
Marie’s team also packed up coffee and pastries from Starbucks at Serramonte Center and delivered them to the Daly City Police Department and San Francisco General Hospital’s trauma unit. ”The workers were surprised and happy,” she added.
But this hardworking team didn’t stop there.
“We also partnered with San Mateo County, City of Daly City, and Second Harvest of Silicon Valley to host a drive-through distribution site at Serramonte,” Villarosa said.
The drive-through events will be held every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, until September, in the parking lot.
“There was such a big need in the county and City because other sites were getting overwhelmed, and since Serramonte was closed, and had extra parking space, it was a perfect spot,” Villarosa said. “We were able to serve at least 1,000 families.”