Martin Richard Foundation buying local meals for hospital workers

For One Boston Day, Bill Richard is helping out the hospital where he was born as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

Bill lost his 8-year-old son Martin during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and became a symbol of strength for the city, helping create the Martin Richard Foundation.

For One Boston Day, the foundation is teaming up with a nonprofit called Sailing Heals. The two groups will provide meals for the 350 frontline healthcare workers on the overnight shift at the North Shore Medical center in Salem — the hospital where Bill was born.

“As we dug a little deeper we found that there’s a pretty a significant overnight shift that’s not getting the same attention as the day workers, so we found a need and we’re doing out best to fill it,” Richard said.

The Martin Richard Foundation is providing the initial funding for the meals program and hopes other organizations on the North Shore will join in the effort. The first meals will be delivered to the hospital workers at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

“I just hope it puts a smile on their faces,” Richard added. “Even though [they wear] those surgical masks, oftentimes you can tell when someone’s smiling.”

Bill said he hopes the funding will help give struggling local restaurants some business. And he’s hoping it will help Sailing Heals return to its mission of taking patients and caregivers on sailing trips, as nonprofits deal with the pandemic as well.

“We decided the best thing we could do is help support our partners,” Richard said. “Nonprofit organizations are struggling because they’re all canceling their spring galas, many of which rely on [that] fundraising to support their entire year of programming.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)