University of Illinois Hospital nurses treated to free meals ahead of National Nurses Week

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CHICAGO — Nurses at University of Illinois Hospital were treated to free meals Tuesday to kick off National Nurses Week during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the country prepares to honor the week during a global health crisis, the staff at the University of Illinois Hospital was grieving the loss of a veteran nurse.

Maria E. Lopez, 60, was due to retire when fellow nurses said she became ill. The Cook County Medical Examiner has not ruled on the cause of her death.

The heartbreaking news came as others rallied behind the staff at the hospital.

A husband and wife donated thousands of healthy meals to the hospital at 1740 West Taylor Street.

“They provided over 2,500 meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the nurses really appreciate that, especially during these times,” said Liz Miller, UIC College of Nursing.

“We very happy to able to show the nurses at UI Health how much we appreciate them during — really all the times of their work — but especially during this crisis and especially during National Nurses Week,” said Kelly Banks, UIC College of Nursing.

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