NHS workers cry tears of joy as firms offer them free food and supplies

23 March 2020, 15:48 | Updated: 23 March 2020, 16:01

Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

Businesses across the UK have shown their appreciation for NHS workers with offers of free food and supplies as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Companies including Costa, Greggs and Burger King have offered free and discounted item to NHS workers on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes after they pleaded with people to stop stockpiling, after many found there was no food available for them at the end of their shift.

On Saturday, Environment Secretary George Eustice said that the public must: "Be responsible shoppers and think of others.

"Buying more than you need means others may be left without. We all have a role to play in ensuring we all come through this together."

At the same conference, NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis, told people they should be "ashamed" of themselves for panic buying and said: "I would like to make a plea on behalf of all my colleagues in the NHS, nurses, doctors, paramedics and many, many others who are working incredibly hard at the moment to manage this outbreak of coronavirus.

"It's incredibly important that they too have access to food, to those essential supplies that they need."

Tesco put a smile on the faces of NHS workers with the offer of free flowers.

It comes after supermarkets made the decision to put aside specific hours for NHS staff to shop.

NHS staff can now arrive to branch one hour before the usual store opening times every Sunday came into effect.

A video from a branch in Belfast, Northern Ireland, showed staff applauding NHS workers early on Sunday morning.

They could be seen holding back tears as Tesco staff members cheered and applauded them for all their work during the crisis.

A voiceover can be heard saying: "On behalf of everyone here, we would like to thank you for your amazing work and continuous support during these hard times.

"We would like to show our appreciation to all NHS staff members and offer a free bouquet of flowers."

Taking to Twitter, one nurse said: "Nearly cried in the supermarket today... went to the early NHS shop time for sainsburys and everyone was so kind and gave me a free bunch of flowers as I left and said ‘thank you'. That’s the best end to a weekend on call.”

"Shout out to sainsburys not only giving us nhs workers an earlier shopping time, but also flowers from them to show appreciation, such gestures really do mean so much," said another.

The daughter of an NHS worker commented: "Mum went to tesco for that hour slot for the NHS workers to get their shopping and there was a wee woman at the door handing out bunches of flowers to say thank you for all their hard work."

NHS staff were also left delighted when Dominos offered free pizza to anyone working in surgeries and hospitals.

The franchise group wrote on Facebook: "We want to say thank you to all of our doctors, nurses and NHS staff who are working tirelessly day and night to keep us safe in these difficult times. This Friday we are giving free pizza to all NHS staff across all of our DS Group Domino’s branches.

"To redeem your free medium pizza for collection, bring your ID into one of the stores listed below on Friday 20th March."

One NHS worker thanked the company on Twitter, saying: "Huge Thank you to Dominos pizza today for our free lunch. You made our day if not the week! All of the teams in WEB were extremely grateful."

Another said: "Huge thank you to Dominos - especially the Dumfries branch! As an NHS worker just wanted to say thanks for working your socks off to provide us with our free pizza."

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