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Erin Andrews donates Beyond Meat burgers to Tampa General Hospital staff

Celebrities are helping Beyond Meat donate more than 1 million plant-based meals. Andrews, an NFL sideline reporter, picked Tampa General Hospital.
Left: An AP photo of NFL sideline reporter Erin Andrews. Right: Tampa General Hospital employees Amber Sturgeon and Allyson Heilos stand next to food sent by Andrews.
Left: An AP photo of NFL sideline reporter Erin Andrews. Right: Tampa General Hospital employees Amber Sturgeon and Allyson Heilos stand next to food sent by Andrews. [ Courtesy of Ellen Fiss ]
Published Apr. 16, 2020|Updated Apr. 20, 2020

TAMPA — The folks at Tampa General Hospital were there to help Erin Andrews’ family, she said, when her dad Steve needed medical attention two months ago.

So when she had the chance to give back during the coronavirus pandemic, the Fox Sports NFL sideline reporter immediately thought of her hometown hospital.

“They’re not only putting their lives on the line, but they’re not even thinking about it," she said.

“I was so grateful for how they treated our family that I was just like, ‘What can I do for you?’”

She sent them lunch: About 100 Hardee’s Beyond Meat Thickburgers arrived at the hospital on Wednesday, enough to feed everyone working that afternoon from the trauma center to the COVID-19 unit to the office staff.

“I’m so grateful for the work you are doing to keep my hometown of Tampa healthy," Andrews wrote in a letter to hospital staff. "You are the real MVPs, and we can’t thank you enough. Please stay safe and healthy.”

Beyond Meat has pledged to donate over 1 million meals using its plant-based meat substitute to organizations across the country. The meals are being used to do everything from stocking food banks to feeding health care workers. Andrews is one of several celebrities to nominate a hometown organization; celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart and Karlie Kloss also picked local organizations to receive meals from Beyond Meat.

The sports reporter’s father, Steve Andrews, is an investigative reporter at WFLA-Ch. 8. Erin Andrews attended Bloomingdale High School and the University of Florida.

“She grew up in the Tampa Bay area and she never forgot her roots,” said Tampa General Hospital spokeswoman Ellen Fiss. "That means a lot to us.”

The hospital has been receiving deliveries several times a day from local establishments like Datz Restaurants, the Ciccio Restaurant Group and La Segunda Bakery, Fiss said.

“It’s just overwhelming and so generous of these restaurants, especially in these times when I’m sure their business is hurting," she said. “We are so grateful.”

Emergency room nurse Kaleigh Bassett said the deliveries give her and her co-workers time to reflect on the day together.

“We’re kind of on a secluded island here, so it’s nice that we can enjoy a meal together,” she said.

“Their support means more to us than they know," she said, adding: "And keep the food coming!”

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