VBMC launches yearly cereal drive - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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VBMC launches yearly cereal drive

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Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 8:45 pm

Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville began its yearly Cereal Drive Friday leading a community-wide effort to ensure that children and adults who may be struggling with hunger over the summer months enjoy a healthy breakfast through their “Healthy over Hungry Campaign,” benefiting the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.

Leslie Bingham, CEO for Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville, says the timing for the drive is important.

“Having the cereal drive at the beginning of the summer is important because kids are out of school and many may not have access to some of the meal programs that are available during the school year, “she said.

Participation from employees, families, friends and members of the community has been encouraging, as many of the VBMC staff has already witnessed folks bringing in grocery bags brimming with boxes and bags of cereal to drop into the donation boxes located throughout the medical center, as well as the main donation box located in the main Stillman lobby.

“So many families in our community are impacted by hunger and rely on the generosity of others,” Bingham said, “that’s why events like Valley Baptist’s Healthy over Hungry cereal drive play such a vital role in the community we care about and care for.

“They’re making a positive, tangible impact in the lives of our friends, family and neighbors in need.”

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 36 percent of the population in the Brownsville area lives below the poverty level, including nearly one in two children. Many families in the Rio Grande Valley pay their entire monthly bills only to find little remaining in their budget to buy nutritious food.

Ronald Meijerink, CEO of the Food Bank RGV, expressed his gratitude to the Valley Baptist Medical Centers for the yearly event.

“Once again, this Healthy over Hunger Cereal Drive, and Valley Baptist’s commitment to building a healthy community, ensures that so many families will have a healthy, whole-grain cereal breakfasts every summer morning.”

In addition to the donations of healthy cereal, members of the community can provide a financial contribution on Food Bank RGV’s website, https://foodbankriogrande.ejoinme.org/cereal2019. These dollars will go toward purchasing perishable items for the Food Bank, including milk, eggs and juices. Every $5 donation equals twenty-five servings, almost an entire month of breakfast, for the Brownsville community’s children, seniors and families.

Bingham says that VBMC’s parent company, Tenet Healthcare, will match dollar-for-dollar all monetary contributions up to $100,000.

“This Healthy over Hunger Cereal Drive is something we look forward to every year,” Bingham says, “and with everybody pitching in, this could be our best year ever.”

Donations of healthy cereal will continue to be collected through next Friday, June 14.

Contributions can be dropped off at the Central Boulevard entrance to the Stillman lobby, Valley Baptist Medical Center, 1040 West Jefferson Street in Brownsville.

sgroves@brownsvilleherald.com

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