Coronavirus: First responders, Taco Bell and Anaheim Ducks give back to UCI Medical Center

Though the salute was from a distance, they were able to touch hearts and lift spirits for those who are working long hours to get patients healthy.
IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Police and fire agencies from across Orange County held a special drive-by parade at UCI Medical Center on Tuesday to show unity and support for the medical staff. Even though the salute was from a distance, they were able to touch hearts and lift spirits for those who are working long hours to get patients healthy.

Meanwhile, Taco Bell's taco truck made a stop at the hospital to provide workers free lunch. The truck is primarily used to serve first responders during major emergencies like a tornado or fire.

"I think we underestimate the power of food. I think during this uncertain times, a lot of what people look for is just comfort and food plays a big part of that. So at Taco Bell, we recognize that and we want to give back in any way that we can," said Matt Prince, the company's senior manager of public relations and brand experience.

The truck served over 3,000 tacos and burritos today as it did last week at USC Keck Hospital. But it's also making stops at banks, school districts and grocery stores.

"To get out of the restaurants and be able to see first hand, those who are giving back to the community and to be able to provide their own thank you'd to those folks I think is really great," Prince said.

"We're grateful for friends and neighbors like the great people at Taco Bell," said Chad T. Lefteris, CEO, UCI Health. "Health care workers across UCI Health are working hard every minute of every day to protect our community during this pandemic and deeply appreciate Taco Bell's support."

Next week, UCI Medical Center will get another dose of love, when the Anaheim Ducks send 200 meals a day. Teammate Cam Fowler says the players and their significant others pitched in to help make it happen.

"We just tried to come up with a way to make an impact in the community and we thought there was no better way to do that than with the people working at the hospitals who are kind of on the frontlines," Fowler said.

The plan is to have individual meals delivered to a hospital floor each day, so that by the end of it all, they will have served every employee.

"As a team in Orange County, we felt that we could use our platform here to make an impact on the community as best we could," said Fowler.

He says this is part of being an Anaheim Duck. From the ownership to the foundation to the players, he says it's their responsibility to give back to a community that's been so great to them.
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