Year round, HCA Healthcare colleagues support local food banks, pantries and soup kitchens through volunteer service, monetary gifts and in-kind donations. This holiday season, HCA Healthcare continues our efforts to fight food insecurity with the second annual enterprise-wide Healthy Food for Healthier Tomorrows Food and Nutrition Drive.
During the month of November, HCA Healthcare and our colleagues provided 878,000 nutritious meals to food banks in the communities we serve by donating food or making financial contributions to help purchase perishable items such as milk, fruit and vegetables. By more than half a million meals, the amount eclipses the 370,000 provided in 2021.
Food insecurity — the lack of consistent access to enough food to have an active, healthy lifestyle — affects 1 in 10 American families. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that 13.5 million U.S. households were food insecure at some point in 2021. Nutrition experts advise that food insecurity and poor nutrition may lead to obesity – a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and many cancers.
The 878,000 nutritious meals provided to families in need included:
- 80,722 meals donated by colleagues
- 196,313 meals from colleague charitable donations
- 68,333 meals from division gifts
- 533,000 meals from $165,000 in grants provided by the HCA Healthcare Foundation to the winning facilities and divisions of a creative food sculpture contest
‘Sculpting’ healthier tomorrows for our communities
For the 2022 Healthy Food for Healthier Tomorrows Food and Nutrition Drive, hospitals were encouraged to get creative and build sculptures with the donated food before transporting it to their local food banks. The prize? An additional grant to a food bank in the hospital’s hometown to make an even greater impact.
Thirteen HCA Healthcare divisions submitted food sculptures this year.
Lee’s Summit Medical Center in Missouri won top honors for their holiday tree of cans titled “Rooted in Our Values.” Each can of food that made up the mosaic of the roots was topped with a note that carried an individual colleague’s motivation for giving back and providing superior, patient-centered care. One of the notes read, “I care because I love making sure patients are treated like family when they are here.” Another note read, “I care because hunger has a ripple effect, and no one should go hungry.” Colleagues’ efforts were awarded $35,000 in grants to local food banks of their choice: Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit Social Services.
Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit was created to help ensure elderly and handicapped community members have access to hot, nutritious and delicious meals, which can help them maintain a healthy diet. The organization has served over 500,000 meals since its inception and currently serves over 350 meals per week. “We are humbled, honored and appreciative of this gift from Lee’s Summit Medical Center,” said Susie Newsam, board president for Meals on Wheels of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. “The longevity of our partnership not only strengthens our organizations but benefits our community.”
HCA Healthcare’s Regional Medical Center of San Jose achieved second place and earned a $20,000 grant to a local food bank of their choice for their sculpture of California’s Golden Gate Bridge. The sculpture included details like a firetruck performing a rescue of a baby and Alcatraz made of food cans.
HCA Florida Citrus Hospital took third place and earned $15,000 in grants for their local food bank. Colleagues at the Florida-based hospital created a backpack as a symbol of their collection efforts to provide jelly for the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches going to children in their community for weekly “blessings in a backpack.”
At HCA Healthcare, we’re committed to improving more lives in more ways. Championing health and nutrition in our communities offers us so many different ways to do good. In addition to donating healthy food, you can volunteer at a local food bank or contribute to a nonprofit organization that helps provide healthy food in your community.
In addition, HCA Healthcare colleagues have the opportunity to track their volunteer hours online, and all benefits-eligible colleagues can double their impact with charitable gift matching and volunteer grants. Gift matching starts at $25, and colleagues can earn $200 for the charity of their choice by logging 10 hours of volunteer service.
Check out more photos from HCA Healthcare’s Healthier Food for Healthier Tomorrows Food and Nutrition Drive below.