Some paramedics in northwest Iowa are providing more than emergency care this holiday season. Chase Peterson is a paramedic in Sioux City, where EMS staff are providing food for the homeless they encounter while they are out on duty around the city. “We got together roughly 60 bags (containing) water, granola bars, and Ramen Noodles,” Peterson said. “In the past, people asked for Ramen Noodles, so we’re kind of expanding on what they told us last year. We keep a box in our ambulance through the day.”
There are more people living on the streets of Sioux City than most people may think, according to Peterson. “We see it on a daily basis, just driving around certain parts of town,” Peterson said. “There are people sleeping under bridges and stuff like that, especially when it’s cold like it is right now.”
The paramedics also provided Thanksgiving meals to 10 needy families last week. They’re hoping to provide help to more families for Christmas. “We’ll get a turkey in a box with a can of corn, a can of green beans, and a pumpkin pie. This Christmas, we’re hoping to get those to at least 20 families, if not more,” Peterson said.
Hy-Vee and Bimbo Bakeries have provided some of the food donations that have gone into the baskets delivered by the paramedics.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)