Desert Care Network hospitals in the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin are hosting their annual Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive benefiting FIND Food Bank.
The drive kicked off Monday and runs through Monday, June 14.
“At our hospitals, we see the health issues children and their families face from hunger and poor nutrition,” said Michele Finney, CEO of Desert Care Network. “We recognize the importance of beginning each day with a nutritious breakfast and, through this drive, we hope to help the many in our community struggling with food insecurity. We are fortunate to have a partner in FIND Food Bank, which provides food to local pantries and through drive-thru distribution centers in the Low and Hi Desert areas. We invite you to join our Healthy Over Hungry® campaign to help feed children this summer.”
In our region, 8 out of 10 local school children qualify for school-based meals through the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program, which often provides lunch and snacks as well as breakfast each day. 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 help address the hunger gap during the summer months when children are not in school.
“It’s important for FIND to provide kid-friendly healthy food options at increased locations and times while kids are on summer break,” explains Debbie Espinosa, President and CEO of FIND Food Bank. “This helps to ensure every child who struggles with food insecurity has the opportunity to access healthy meals from easily accessible locations throughout the valley. We understand the obstacles families can face during this time, which is why FIND continues to distribute food at 12 school sites across the Desert Region in partnership with all 3 of our school districts. The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive will help fuel local kids with the food they love through the summer and beyond.”
Donations of healthy cereal to the Healthy Over Hungry® Cereal Drive will be collected from June 7 through June 14 in the main lobbies of Desert Regional Medical Center, 1150 N. Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs; JFK Memorial Hospital, 47111 Monroe St. in Indio; or Hi-Desert Medical Center, 6601 White Feather Rd in Joshua Tree. Hi-Desert Medical Center cereal donations will be provided to The Way Station in Joshua Tree. For those who wish to provide a financial donation for perishable breakfast items click here.