Emanuel Medical Center, along with Doctors Medical Center of Modesto and Doctors Hospital of Manteca, are leading a campaign to ensure Central Valley residents are well-fed this summer by starting a cereal drive.
The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive seeks to provide food for area children and adults struggling with hunger, especially during the summer months when food donations typically tend to dip at food pantries.
Donations of healthy cereal collected by Emanuel Medical Center will benefit New Life Christian Center in Turlock. Donations raised by Doctors Medical Center of Modesto and Doctors Hospital of Manteca will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. The drive started Friday and will continue through June 10.
“All of us at Emanuel Medical Center are excited to participate in this year’s Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive,” said Sue Micheletti, chief executive officer of Emanuel Medical Center. “Last year, our staff and volunteers went above and beyond and far exceeded our expectations in providing healthy breakfasts for those most in need in our community. We’re looking forward to collecting even more in donations this year.”
According to Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, 15 percent of the overall population in Stanislaus County – a total of 78,380 adults and children – were considered food insecure in 2014.
“The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive makes a huge impact in our community,” said Jon Nichols, Outreach Pastor at New Life Christian Center. “Every week, we see households coming to our food pantry to help them make it through the month. We had such an incredible response last year that we were able to share the donations with three other community agencies. Seeing Emanuel Medical Center show so much heart for the hungry people in our area brings a lot of warmth into the community.”
In Stanislaus County, more than 72,000 students in grades K-12 were eligible for free or reduced-fee breakfasts and lunches during the 2015-16 school year. Whole-grain cereal, when part of a healthy, balanced breakfast including dairy, fruit and lean protein, is a popular food item that experts say can easily address the hunger gap during the summer months when children are not in school.
Donations of cereal to EMC can be dropped off in the lobby.