Angela Bernhardt wants to help the elderly amid coronavirus concerns.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic surges, Bernhardt thought about the most vulnerable members of the community and considered how her own 94-year-old could potentially be impacted.
“If she didn’t have meals delivered to her, she couldn’t make it,” Bernhardt said. “I think that the elderly are the most vulnerable people in our society."
Nearly half of coronavirus patients have recovered, but it kills about 4% of patients while the flu kills an average of 0.1% of patients, according to information from the World Health Organization.
Health officials continue to advise the elderly population and people who have previously health conditions are at higher risk.
That is why Bernhardt decided her restaurant, Angel’s Diner, located at 1402 S. George Nigh Expressway in McAlester, will deliver food with no delivery cost to any elderly residents in the area.
Bernhardt said although her restaurant is part of a local delivery service in town, it will be her employees that will be making the runs.
“This is purely a service for the elderly that I’m not going to charge a dime for,” she said.
Pittsburg County officials had not reported a confirmed coronavirus case as of Tuesday afternoon, but several government agencies and businesses have been reducing services and limiting public access as precautionary measures.
Bernhardt made she made her decision on Sunday while she was driving to work.
“The first couple that I saw leaving the diner I thought ‘oh, I’m going to start with them’ so I asked them if they were from McAlester and they said yeah and I told them ‘hey, I just want you to know we’re going to do a food delivery for the elderly at no charge.’”
She said she couldn’t get through her conversation with the couple without crying so she began to think about ways to spread the word on the service.
“I don’t do Facebook,” Bernhardt said. “But I do get the notifications.”
Bernhardt said she checked the notification and saw that the couple had made a post about the delivery service and that it already had several shares.
“I looked down and it had 50 something shares on this deal and she posted it like 13 minutes ago,” Bernhardt said.
As of Monday afternoon, the post had more than 375 shares.
“I didn’t know that couple,” Bernhardt said. “I’ve seen them in here a time or two before, but I didn’t know who they were.”
When asked how long she will continue the service, Bernhardt said she will continue it as long as there is a need “but absolutely until we get through this.”
Business wise, Bernhardt said her employees are taking all necessary precautions, but the virus threat has not slowed business.
“We are taking all the precautions we can,” Bernhardt said. “We clean with bleach water only and we’re cleaning every surface at every table — the booths to the salt and pepper shakers, we will wipe them down after every customer. I’m making everybody wear gloves and change them and put anti-bacterial on the gloves.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Bernhardt said.
McAlester residents who are 55 and older can call the diner at 918-423-2633 to place their delivery order. Those with access can view the menu at www.angels50sdiner.com/Diner.html..
Customers can pay with either cash or card at the time of delivery.
Contact Derrick James at firstname.lastname@example.org