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BBQ legend Charlie Robinson delivers lunch to patients at Roseland Community Hospital

The hospital had been relying on takeout and donations after being forced to close its dietary department.

Tim Egan President of Roseland Hospital carry bags of food which is being donated by Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs to patients and staff at Roseland Hospital, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Tim Egan President of Roseland Hospital carry bags of food which is being donated by Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs to patients and staff at Roseland Hospital, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Roseland Community Hospital was forced to close its dietary department last week after a staffer came down with COVID-19 symptoms.

As a precaution, the hospital closed the department and performed a deep cleaning over the weekend. Eighteen employees are awaiting test results.

That left the hospital buying pizza and Subway sandwiches for patients, relying on donations from churches and local restaurants and seeking monetary donations on Facebook.

When barbecue legend Charlie Robinson heard of the closure, he stepped into action. Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs donated, coordinated by Bob Hoelterhoff of J & B Signs, over 100 five-course meals to patients and staff Tuesday.

“I really want to recognize Robinson’s Ribs for donating this food today to keep our employees and our patients nourished,” Roseland CEO Tim Egan said.

The so-called safety net hospital hopes to have the dietary department operating with a skeleton crew by the end of the week to serve only patients, but there isn’t an exact timeline.

Roseland has tested 77 patients for COVID-19 — eight were confirmed to have the virus, said Dr. Terrill Applewhite, chairman of the Roseland’s COVID-19 task force.