Eric Wolfman, Inpatient Food Services, North York General

A lifetime of service through food — Meet Eric Wolfman

Serving people. That has been the driving force through my work and life, and it is what I do as part of the inpatient food services team at North York General Hospital (NYGH).

Serving people through food is second nature to me, after a long career spanning almost 40 years in the food industry. It started with a hot dog cart as an 18-year-old, extended to working to cater food for concerts, movies and events, and then to owning restaurants. However, working in a hospital and helping with a patient’s food and nutrition has given me great joy.

Spreading smiles to patients

I joined North York General Hospital in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 had been a difficult year for me, personally and professionally, so when I joined NYGH in December 2020, it felt like destiny. Being in a hospital can be an overwhelming experience, but I truly love making a patient’s day brighter through food. I feel if I can contribute to a few smiles for a patient, especially during such a challenging time, it fills my day with cheer.

A team spirit that bonds NYGH

Food has been my connection to other cultures and countries, as has my other passion, which is sport. When I’m not working, I am most likely following a game — be it baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball, or football! I cheer for every Toronto team, and love watching games with my family.

The spirit of teamwork is what I enjoy most about the environment at NYGH. We could put some of the sports teams to shame! My colleagues inspire me to do more and do better.

My 50/50 Staff Lottery Story

The pain and suffering I saw through the pandemic made me more determined to give back. The 50/50 Staff Lottery at NYGH showed up as an opportunity for me to do just that. I had very little hopes of winning. My key wish was to be able to contribute and help the people I meet, and the place I serve every day, in a meaningful way. I am thrilled that I won the lottery and am still making plans of how I want to spend the money! Getting some work done around the house and a weekend away with my wife are likely options.

Over the past few months, NYGH has played a pivotal role in nurturing my passion for service through food. As I walk into the hospital each day, I continue to get inspired by the kindness of those who work here, and the generosity of each person who contributes to it. I am proud to have been able to add my name to that list.