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Canadiens lend helping hand during COVID-19 crisis

From purchasing meals for frontline workers to saluting healthcare heroes, the Habs have been very involved during the pandemic

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski. @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - The Canadiens organization and their players have supported healthcare workers throughout the battle against COVID-19.

First up, defenseman Jeff Petry and his wife, Julie, opened $2,500 tabs at two Montreal restaurants to feed hospital staffers.

"Anything we can do to show our appreciation. To show that we're thinking of them, standing behind them, supporting them and that they're in our thoughts and prayers," mentioned the couple, regarding those working on the frontlines helping people affected by the coronavirus.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: ���Anything we can do to show our appreciation. To show that we���re thinking of them, standing behind them, and supporting them.���Julie and @PetryJ have opened up $2,500 tabs at two Montreal restaurants to provide free meals to hospital workers. 👏https://t.co/ot0lj5X9NH

Medical professionals could order from Mandy's Gourmet Salads (Westmount location) or Notre-Boeuf-De-Grâce (NDG location) and receive a free meal on the Petrys by showing their hospital IDs.

The Petrys stressed that being able to give back while keeping things local was also a key part of their initiative.

"It was kind of a twofer that not only could we help give a little boost to the hospital employees, we could also give a boost to the local restaurants in Montreal that we love," said Julie. "We love all the local eateries there and have formed relationships with different restaurants, so it was kind of a no-brainer."

Gallagher and Suzuki build on the Petrys' initiative

Brendan Gallagher and Nick Suzuki also joined forces to show the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) personnel some love.

The two forwards partnered up to purchase meals from local Italian restaurant, La Medusa, for all 2,000 hospital staffers.

Gallagher and Suzuki's gesture kickstarted the MGH Foundation's brand new "Together, providing for our teams" campaign, focused on supplying medical teams with healthy and nutritious snacks and meals, and protective equipment as well.

"The sacrifices they're really making, it's so selfless. You look at how it's impacted their lives, you hear all the stories, they're really not seeing their families because they don't want to give the virus to them and then they spend their entire day dealing with people that are really battling this disease. Just their mental state of mind to wake up every day to go there, to do it again. The impact they're having on the world is incredible. They're changing so many lives with the quick work they do," praised Gallagher. "You really want to recognize all the essential workers right now, anyone that's serving a role, because we're all relying on them so much to get the job done. They really have been doing a tremendous job. There's no real way to say thank you. It'll never be enough."

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: .@BGALLY17 and @nsuzuki_37 are gifting 2,000 meals to thank our #healthcareheroes. #HockeySticksTogether https://t.co/QH1bJ1LI8s

Suzuki was also eager to give hospital workers a well-deserved nod for their outstanding service to the community.

"It just kind of clicked in my head that I wanted to do it, too. I asked to split it with him," explained Suzuki. "I have a ton of appreciation for the staff. I've been in the hospital a few times myself, and the work they do is huge for every patient. They take care of them so well. Putting themselves on the line, and the families they come home to, they're risking their families' health. Everyone needs them to be at work. They know they have to get the job done. It's kind of like a hockey team. The team over there is doing such a great job and we just needed to help them out."

To further support the "Together, providing for our teams" fundraising initiative, the Canadiens' official store, Tricolore Sports, also provided the MGH Foundation with a few Gallagher jerseys and goal pucks that were awarded to lucky donors.

Mete joins the cause

Victor Mete stepped up for frontline hospital workers, too, purchasing 500 meals from renowned local restaurant, Dunn's Famous.

Deliveries were made to six different institutions, including the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Jewish General Hospital, Montreal General Hospital, Charles LeMoyne Hospital, CHU Sainte-Justine and Sacré-Cœur Hospital.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: .@vmete98 has teamed up with Dunn's Famous Smoked Meat��to provide 500 meals to frontline health workers across Montreal.#GoHabsGo #HockeySticksTogether https://t.co/UEphLLmdsL

The 21-year-old defenseman was committed to recognizing the incredible work being done across the city.

"It's the least I can do to help since everyone is putting their life on the line and helping those who are infected," explained Mete. "It's pretty amazing to see that they're still going and not backing down."

The meals consisted of a signature smoked meat sandwich, along with a pickle, coleslaw, a chocolate chip cookie and a beverage. A veggie burger option was also available, if requested.

The Prices make a $50,000 donation

Carey and Angela Price generously announced a $50,000 donation from their Foundation to the Breakfast Club of Canada's emergency fund to help feed children across Canada during the COVID-19 crisis.

"We are lucky to have everything we do, when so many people lack access to healthy food. We feel compelled to do our part so that the most vulnerable children and communities in the country, including Indigenous communities, aren't victims of food insecurity during this crisis," said Angela, a Breakfast Club of Canada ambassador.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: The @CP0031 and @byAngelaPrice Foundation has donated $50,000 to @BreakfastCanada to help feed children during the COVID-19 crisis.https://t.co/ZSdfWt0CX8

The Price family have been involved with the Club for over five years through a variety of initiatives including Shooting for the Stars, an event created in collaboration with the Air Canada Foundation that lets children from Indigenous communities enjoy an incredible week-long experience in Montreal with their hockey hero, and an annual fundraiser of the same name held in Kelowna, B.C. - which to date has raised more than $820,000 to support of the Club's mission.

Groupe CH gets cooking

The Habs teamed up with La Tablée des Chefs and its partners with Les Cuisines Solidaires on an initiative to prepare meals in order to help keep food banks in Quebec fully stocked.

Over the next few months, Bell Centre chefs - with an assist from Canadiens employees, who are helping prep and package meals for distribution - will be whipping up 50,000 meals, with a possibility of doubling that total, which will be donated to food banks to help feed the province's most vulnerable citizens.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Bell Centre staff are preparing 50,000 meals for those in need, together with @TableedesChefs and @igaqc.https://t.co/9hMMNPggYQ

This marks the second major donation the Canadiens have made to local food banks since the COVID-19 crisis began, having previously delivered over 13,000 pounds of food that would have been used during the team's home games in March.

The crisis has severely affected the activities of community organizations, many of which have even had to close for lack of resources, adding to the uncertainty experienced by an increasing number of individuals and families who depend on their assistance daily.

Stick tap salute to healthcare heroes

The Canadiens initiated a daily tribute to hospital workers.

Tapping hockey sticks is a longstanding tradition in hockey as a way to show respect on the ice. The Habs have been using that same method to acknowledge -- and make some noise for -- the city's medical community for the tireless work they're doing to keep Montrealers healthy and safe.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Ce soir, c���est @bchiarot7 qui applaudit nos h��ros de la sant��.Envoyez-nous une vid��o d��montrant votre soutien.#UnisParLeHockey | #HockeySticksTogetherBen Chiarot with tonight���s 7:00 p.m. stick taps saluting our healthcare heroes.Share yours to show your support. pic.twitter.com/xDAsQY8olL

Show your support by tapping your sticks at 7:00 p.m. every night. Share the videos with us by tagging @CanadiensMTL and #HockeySticksTogether and we'll repost them on our platforms.

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