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L+M Hospital and Westerly Hospital help reduce hunger across our communities through #GiveHealthy initiative

Friday, March 5, 2021

New London, CT and Westerly, RI (March 5, 2021) – Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) recently concluded its employee driven healthy food donation program as part of the #GiveHealthy Movement. The goal was to provide fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy food items to help hunger-relief organizations throughout the state and region during the winter months when donations are fewer.

System wide, Yale New Haven Health collected over 22,550 pounds of food during two months of the #GetHealthy drive, which equates to 18,792 meals.

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital collected 4,727 pounds of food equaling 3,939 meals and was donated to F.R.E.S.H. New London, a community group dedicated to building and sustaining a healthy and just food system to establish community food security in Connecticut.

“The generosity of staff will enable us to receive fresh fruits and vegetables for our weekly food distribution,” said Alicia Mcavay, director, F.R.E.S.H. New London.

Westerly Hospital collected 1,579 pounds of food equaling 1,316 meals and donated locally to the “Pantry of the lane” operated by the joy Fellowship Church.

“The food that has been donated help[s us be successful in our work,” said Pastor Mark Benson, Pantry on the Lane.

“The GetHealthy food drive is a demonstration of our deep commitment to community health, a commitment that goes well beyond the doors of our buildings, said Laurel Holmes, director of Community Partnerships and Population Health for L+M and Westerly hospitals. “ We know that families are struggling with food insecurity right now and our doctors, nurses, and staff are also your neighbors and friends. To be able to make a difference by donating healthy foods to those who need it most is another way to promote healing.”

“Food insecurity has always been a problem for people in our communities, but COVID-19’s economic impact has meant that even more people can’t afford enough food to feed themselves and their families,” said Nancy Hamson, system director, Community Health Improvement, YNHHS. “In response, YNHHS was very eager to collaborate with our partners at #GetHealthy with our first online food drive. We invited employees and medical staff throughout YNHHS to support hunger-relief organizations in the communities where they live and/or work.

The employee food drive was conducted through #GiveHealthy, an organization that provides an online platform for hunger-relief organizations to set up “registries” listing items they need. YNHHS employees, departments and medical staff supported one or more hunger-relief organizations in YNHHS delivery networks’ communities. Because the food will be shipped from suppliers directly to hunger-relief organizations, donors were able to purchase healthy food items, including fresh produce.

“The 42 million-plus people struggling with food insecurity also face high rates of diet related health issues – like obesity, diabetes, cancer – due to a lack of access to healthy food. A lot of food that gets donated actually worsens these health conditions. What was needed were healthy food donations and that was our goal from the beginning,” said Augusta Mueller, community benefit manager, Yale New Haven Health.

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