PORTSMOUTH, VA, UNITED STATES
Story by Seaman Ariana Torman
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2020) – Naval Medical Center Portsmouth’s galley staff are assisting the command’s battle against COVID-19 – one meal at a time.
In April, NMCP began providing meals to Sailors who tested positive for the coronavirus and were placed in a restriction of movement (ROM) status. These Sailors were instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days in the bachelor enlisted quarters, and they were provided meals three times a day.
“The packages are left outside of their door so that there is no face-to-face contact,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Owens, NMCP’s cargo leading petty officer. “We’re able to provide the Sailors a warm meal while helping to mitigate any further spread.”
As COVID-19 continued to spread in the community, the galley staff met the continued demand. On average, the galley prepared 291 meals each day. At its peak, the galley provided more than 800 meals in one day.
In addition, the galley also provided meals to quarantined Sailors assigned to surrounding Norfolk commands, and the Sailors that were required to quarantine upon returning from the USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) deployment to New York City in April 2020.
“All of this was accomplished during a 60% reduction of manning in the CFO (Combined Food Operations) department,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Jesus Fimbres, CFO’s leading petty officer. “This really shows the hard work that was put in while we still prepared meals for the staff and inpatients here at NMCP.”
As the U.S. Navy’s oldest, continuously-operating military hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally-acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, along with the area’s 10 branch health and TRICARE Prime Clinics, provide care for the Hampton Roads area. The medical center also supports premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsman for future roles in healing and wellness.