Greater Good

May 1, 2020 By Heather Ramirez

Ding-Dong Dinner

On Friday, May 1, the nation honors nutrition professionals in education with School Lunch Hero Day. While Paradise Valley Estates is not a school, we too have nutritional heroes. Our community’s Dining Services team has spearheaded the planning and preparation of resident meals since the COVID-19 outbreak began in mid-March.

Our nutrition heroes are supported by other heroes like Heather Ramirez. Heather, a member of the Paradise Valley Estates marketing team, has been pulling double duty for weeks delivering meals right to residents’ front doors. She recently wrote about her experience on the ding-dong dinner service.

Angelica and I were saddled up in our six-seater golf cart — or as some call it “the Cadillac” — and we were ready to hit the road. We had our gloves on, jackets fastened, glasses down, and I was situated all the way in the back flying backwards to maintain our required six feet apart.

Riding between us were two large Lexan containers, each with about five to eight bags. Inside each bag was a carefully prepared meal from today’s selections: sea bass, ribs, tortellini, or even a tuna sandwich (a favorite around here). Each neatly tied bag held the entrée plus a soup, salad, bread, a beverage and sweet dessert.

As we pulled up to our first stop, Angelica went one way and I another, a bag in each hand. As I reached the front door, I noticed the carefully placed chair just past the swing of the screen door. I gently placed the bag on the chair, pulled the delivery tag and zoned in on the doorbell — RING! RING!

Twice I pressed the doorbell with the signal and backed down the walk toward the golf cart. As I turned to climb in, the door opened, and I heard a friendly shout of “Thank you!” “You’re welcome,” Angelica and I chimed together as we reclaimed our seats and headed to the next stop.

As we cruised along in “the Cadillac,” we saw residents from afar, the distance a requirement of our community’s preventive measures to keep residents as safe as possible from the COVID-19 virus. From windows and front yards, they waved, smiled, and shouted appreciatively, knowing that delivering their delicious dinners was our early-evening mission.

Angelica and I finished our delivery and headed back to the cart line to pick up another set of gourmet orders. Less than an hour later, our mission had been accomplished. Dinner had been safely delivered to every resident at home within our 76-acre Life Plan Community.

Marketing team members, Heather Ramirez and Jessica Duplantis, delivering meals to residents. (This photo was taken prior to mask requirements being put in place at Paradise Valley Estates.)


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