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WATCH NOW: COVID can drive pays off for frontline workers

WATCH NOW: COVID can drive pays off for frontline workers


CEDAR FALLS — After weeks of being awash in bottles and cans, Jamie Mangrich has been hitting the streets to bring pizza, lasagna and other meals to care center workers and other front-line employees.

On Wednesday, Mangrich and Alex Bullington of Marco’s Pizza pulled up to NewAldaya Lifescapes in Cedar Falls and unloaded 44 extra-large pizzas, garnering applause and “thank yous” muffled through facemasks and plastic shields.

“Something like this, when you have support from the community, it boosts you up,” said Millisa Tierney, CEO.

Currently in outbreak status with nine coronavirus cases, NewAldaya employees had been working to keep the virus out, and now to deal with the virus.

Mangrich, a restaurant manager with a wife who works in the COVID unit of another nursing home, came up with the idea in April to raise money to show appreciation for care center workers tasked with caring for the most vulnerable during the pandemic.


Staff workers at NewAldaya in Cedar Falls listen as Jamie Mangrich thanks them for their work on Wednesday.

A Facebook post asking for returnable bottles and cans led to heaps of plastic, aluminum and glass containers on the lawn of his Waterloo home. He partnered with Metro Area Redemption in Cedar Falls to process the hoard and collected cash donations from businesses like Tyson Fresh Meats, Community Motors and local restaurants.

Lindsay Messerer, who operates Beautiful Mess Boutique next to the Waffle Stop Grill that Mangrich manages, chipped in with gift cards.

In the end, Mangrich, who is finished taking bottles and cans, estimates he raised about $15,000 for the project.

So far, he had delivered food to NorthCrest, Cedar Falls Health Care Center and other facilities as well as some area police and fire departments. And more deliveries will be coming in the coming days.

PHOTOS: Can drive for front line workers

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