Companies across DMV lending a hand during pandemic

The boxes sat stacked up outside Children's National Hospital's delivery bay Tuesday night, waiting to be delivered to the nurses putting their lives on the line where patients and their families are being tested for COVID-19.

The boxes, 200 in all, were packed full of fresh produce collected by the produce supply company Produce Alliance and its foundation, along with local donors. It was all about making meals easier for those on the front lines.

"It's healthy, great food to those of us who have families at home and it just means the world that people are thinking about us," said Maria Panayotou the operations manager at Children's National.

READ MORE: Coronavirus by the numbers in DC, Maryland, Virginia

Across the D.C. area, companies are doing what they can to help health care workers and others feeling the harsh effects of the pandemic.

Nonprofit Hearts of Empowerment has partnered with meal delivery service Mighty Meals, based in Burke, Va., to deliver nearly 200 meals to hospital workers across Northern Virginia. They hope to visit a new hospital each week to feed those workers who have put their patients before themselves.

Just outside of Baltimore Nation's Photo Lab, a photo and print shop, discovered it creates products with the same special machinery used to make protective face shields that health care workers use as PPE to fight the virus. Workers retooled one of their factories to create the reusable shields.

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The company donated $100,000 worth of the shields and is now selling them to more than 700 interested hospitals and facilities across the country.

"We were all really down in the dumps about everything and everybody was having a hard time just like everybody in the world is with what's happening, but it gave this little shot of excitement for everybody to be able to give back and help out," said chief operating officer Harvis Kramer.