Sponsor a meatball for hospital workers with Balls & Glory

Summary

As hospital restaurants close to staff, one of Flanders’ favourite eateries is providing them with several thousand meatball meals – with your help

‘A lot of leftover balls’

What do you do with 10,000 extra meatballs? This was the question facing Wim Ballieu at the weekend.

Ballieu is the owner of Balls & Glory, the meatball eatery based in Ghent but with seven outlets across Belgium, including Brussels and Antwerp. His oversized stuffed meatballs are über-popular, and his catering business is as hopping as his cafeteria-style restaurants.

Customers can buy the meat (or veggie) balls to take away or sit down and eat a meatball meal, with come with mash or rice and are doused in rich sauces. Ballieu and his team had made 10,000 meatballs for Tomorrowland Winter in the French Alps. The eight-day dance music festival was meant to kick-off last Saturday.

“We were ready with our food trucks to head to France,” he told VRT. “The event was cancelled, so we sat here with a lot of leftover balls.”

It’s important that the personnel can get a good meal so they can carry out good work

- Wim Ballieu

The outlets are only doing take-away now since all the restaurants are closed under the current government guidelines to fight the coronavirus. There was no way they could sell all the meatballs before they went bad. Ballieu called an emergency meeting of his staff.

“Fortunately I have a very passionate team of cooks who could not sit by and watch this happen,” said Ballieu. “We brainstormed and came up with a decision based on solidarity.”

A tentative social media query met with a response so resounding it surprised even him. It turns out that most hospital restaurants have closed to staff, only making meals for patients.

And the Charity Ball was born. Members of the public pay €8 to sponsor a meatball meal for medical personnel. That’s nearly half the price of a usual Balls & Glory meal.

Deliveries are being made to Ghent’s University Hospital as well as hospitals in Brussels, Leuven, Antwerp and Aalst. Ballieu: “It’s important that the personnel can get a good meal so they can carry out good work.”

The public is invited to sponsor a ball on the Balls&Glory website.

Photo courtesy UberEats