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Swensons delivers food to first responders on frontline of coronavirus battle

'It's our way of giving back and being good neighbors.'

ELYRIA, Ohio — Hospital workers at UH Elyria Medical Center were given a special delivery Tuesday courtesy of Swensons.

The iconic drive-in burger chain delivered food to hospital staff members as they are continue on the front line of this coronavirus battle.

“Our UH Elyria drop off was part of our normal weekday community giving,” Kevin Howley of Swensons tells 3News. “We don’t actively publicize it, but we deliver food four to six times per week in our local communities, including weekly ‘First Responder Fridays’ where we deliver food to first responders. It’s our way of giving back and being good neighbors. As the pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home directives have progressed, we transitioned our giving to essential personnel and first responders.

From March 1 through the end of this week, Howley says Swensons will have fed 855 medical employees, 310 first responders, 120 essential workers and 75 homeless people.

“For 86 years, we’ve seen first responders, nurses, doctors, delivery drivers, craftsmen and countless of other types of ‘essential professionals’ on our lots,” Howley says. “If it weren’t for them, we’d still be selling hamburgers out of a Station Wagon at Buchtel High School. It’s our duty to give back to them.”

This week, Swensons teamed up with area charity, R.A.K.E. (Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere) and its founder, Ricky Smith. Together they delivered more than 120 meals to doctors, nurses and medical staff at University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic. For the past month, R.A.K.E. has served more than 3,000 meals to different charities in the community.

Swenson's continues to feed the community as well. Since March 1st Swenson's has fed 310 First Responders, 120 Essential Workers and 855 Medical Employees.

If you know a local hero who deserves a Swensons delivery, the chain wants to hear from you. You can nominate somebody HERE.

Meanwhile, all Swensons locations remain open and are “operating under strict cleaning and sanitizing processes.”

Known for its signature Galley Boy, which is a double cheeseburger smothered in two homemade sauces, Swensons is consistently ranked among America's best burger spots. 

It's even a favorite of Akron native LeBron James.

"I get a double cheeseburger, and onion rings," James revealed last year during an interview at the I PROMISE School in Akron. "And then I get a banana milkshake with real ice cream. I have a nice little feast."

Austin Love contributed to this story.

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