As their staff provides the frontline defense against the novel coronavirus, area hospitals increasingly have been the recipients of goodwill gestures from members of the community.

From groups of friends to local restaurants, many have pitched in to thank healthcare workers as they work around the clock to fend off the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, for as thankful as they are for the gestures, each area hospital has rules and requests to ensure donations wind up in the correct hands and don’t inadvertently hinder workers’ ability to do their jobs.

Capital Health, with hospitals in Hopewell Township and in the City of Trenton, asks that anyone who wants to donate delivered food to their facilities should first call ahead so staff can distribute the food properly. All food inquiries should go through Capital Health’s foundation office.

Capital Health Hopewell.

Capital Health is also asking for restaurant gift cards so staff can enjoy at another time. The gift cards will go to an in-house committee, which is making up gift bags for healthcare workers. A number of local restaurants already have expressed interest in participating, including Wildflowers Inn Restaurant (Pennington), Sumo Sushi (Pennington), The Peasant Grill (Hopewell Boro), Tomatello’s Latin Cuisine (Hopewell Boro), Udo’s Bagels (Lawrence), Cugino’s Italian Market (Pennington), Entrata (Hopewell Boro) and Acacia Restaurant (Lawrence).

For either food or gift card donations, call (609) 303-4121 to speak with a staff member of Capital Health’s Development Office. Email inquiries may be sent to donate@capitalhealth.org.

Princeton Medical Center in Plainsboro accepts food donations, but requests that people email or call its foundation first to make arrangements. Donations should not be dropped off at the hospital campus or elsewhere unannounced. The hospital’s foundation screens all donations and arranges how they will be delivered.

Princeton Medical Center.

PMC also has a need for unused, unopened medical supplies or equipment. It will not accept handmade items, including handmade masks.

“The thought is much appreciated but we have no way to monitor the quality assurance of the products being made by community members,” a statement on the hospital’s website said.

To donate to PMC, contact the Princeton Medical Center Foundation via email at PMPH-foundation@PennMedicine.Upenn.edu or by phone (609) 252-8710.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton is accepting all donations. Anyone who would like to provide food donations should call Diane Grillo, the hospital’s vice president of health promotion at (609) 631-6875 or Kathie Potts, executive assistant, at (609) 584-6427.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton.

RWJUH Hamilton also has appealed for donations of personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks, as well as hand sanitizer and soap. For more information about how to help, go to the RWJ website.

St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton has published a flier online that includes information on how to donate personal protective equipment and money to the hospital. The flier also has information on the specifications any homemade mask must meet in order to be accepted as a donation.

For more information on how to support healthcare workers across New Jersey, go to the New Jersey Hospital Association website.