The Harvard Gardens distributed hundreds of free bagged lunches to Mass General Hospital doctors and staff on Wednesday, April 1, in a display of gratitude to healthcare professionals working in the age of COVID-19.
Patrick Lyons, CEO of the Lyons Group, which has operated Harvard Gardens since 1999, and a Beacon Hill resident, credits the the idea to treat the hospital’s workers to a “grab-and-go” bagged lunch consisting of a sandwich, an apple and a bottled water from a table outside the Cambridge Street restaurant to his wife, Kristina, who is currently finishing up at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“She’s really in a quagmire trying to get Personal Protective Equipment for the hospital – it’s very complicated and most efforts lead to dead ends,” Lyons said. “So out of frustration we thought, ‘What can we do? We have a restaurant – let’s mobilize it.’
The Harvard Gardens has a long history serving the MGH community, since it was the first establishment granted a liquor license in 1930 after Prohibition was repealed.
“It’s a great little neighborhood spot, and it’s a great little MGH spot,” Lyons said of the Harvard Gardens.
Sally Mason Boemer, MGH’s senior vice president for finance, wrote, “The hospital is deeply grateful for the many wonderful expressions of support from our community. Whether it’s offers of food and other donations or messages posted around the neighborhood, these gestures are heartening for our staff who dedicate themselves to providing the very best care for our patients every day.”
And although Harvard Gardens remains open for delivery via Grub Hub and takeout during what Lyons concedes has been a “tough time for business,” he said last Wednesday’s gesture was all about expressing much-deserved gratitude to the Mass General staff.
“We’re thankful for the support from the Beacon Hill neighborhood in the past two weeks, but today is set aside for MGH,” Lyons said.