Credit: A Saucerful of Giving/Facebook

There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal and a group of Iowa friends is making sure nearby nursing facility workers always have a taste of home while on the job each weekend.

“It helps out a lot. We’ve been working our butts off,” traveling nurse Lakisha Brown said. 

The effort, dubbed A Saucerful of Giving, was started by Des Moines resident Dan Tripp before the COVID-19 pandemic. Tripp started cooking and delivering a weekly meal for an elderly friend who went to his church.

He continued the tradition after she was placed in a nursing home and expanded the effort to include some of her friends. Residents’ dietary restrictions prevented him from continuing to provide weekly meals to residents, so he shifted to helping the workers instead, he told local media this week.

Now, he delivers a weekly meal on Saturday to about 30 employees at a local nursing home. His plan is to add more workers at other facilities on his weekly delivery route. 

Meals he’s made for workers have ranged from steak, to chili and cornbread, to Cuban sandwiches to fettuccine Alfredo. Now, his friends have joined in to help him cook with plans to expand the Iowa group. 

The effort is a way to “show these essential workers how much he, and in turn, the community appreciates their sacrifice every day,” his group’s website states. Volunteers use their own money to provide the food for meals but the Iowa group has called for donations to help keep the effort going.

“I also found that if you make the help happy, you make the residents happier too,” he said. 

“Some weekends I still do it on my own,” Tripp added. “But most of the time, there’s a group of us, and we all have a lot of fun. We all make good food and we’re helping people — so it’s just a win-win for everybody.”