Kingsport restaurant feeds workers in Holston Valley’s COVID-19 unit

Holly Viers • Apr 18, 2020 at 12:00 PM

KINGSPORT — A city restaurant has stepped up to feed workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, The Bohemian fed 80 day shift workers in Holston Valley Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit, with the 80 night shift workers to be fed next week. Barry Carson, owner and agent for Shelter Insurance of Kingsport, donated $1,000 toward the effort, which covered the cost of 135 of the 160 meals.

“It feels empowering to do something,” Barry Carson said. “I don't have a medical skill set to do what these brave folks are doing, but I can donate dollars. A hot meal that doesn't come from a vending machine may seem small, but I hope it communicates to them that we’re grateful and stand by them.”

Stephanie Carson, owner of The Bohemian, said the idea was put in motion last week, when the restaurant’s Hospital LOVE package was announced. Community members were invited to donate $75 toward a package, which would feed 10 hospital professionals. The restaurant would then pack up the meals and deliver them for free.

Earlier this week, Shelter Insurance made its donation to feed 135 of the 160 hospital workers. Miles Burdine, president of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, made a donation to cover 12 of the remaining 25 meals.

Stephanie Carson said the goal was to provide easy, hot meals for the hospital workers to enjoy while on the go. She added that the effort is helping to keep her restaurant workers on the job; the restaurant is also still open to the public for pickup seven days a week.

Donations are still being accepted to fund the rest of the meals for night shift workers, along with potential future feedings the restaurant may have, if funding is available. Donors will receive a coupon from the restaurant’s sister business, Gypsy Circus Cider Company.

For more information or to make a donation, visit thebohemianrestaurant.com or email fortuneteller@gypsycircuscider.com.

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