Whether through time, talent or financial contributions, we are proud to support our communities. We listen to our residents and provide them with the specific help that they need – when they need it.
We also work to ensure that you're a part of the discussions that affect your health through a variety of education and advocacy initiatives. Our GrassRoots Green program fosters involvement from Northwest Ohio communities through activities such as registration drives, community town hall meetings and candidate debates. ProMedica is also home to Fields of Green, an umbrella for several health and nutrition education programs.
In the Spotlight
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ProMedica Helps to Change a Food Desert - The Flower Market Garden Grocer
As part of its mission to end hunger, ProMedica’s Flower Market, at 3890 Monroe St., has opened a healthy Garden Grocer. This healthy corner store will provide convenient access to fresh fruits, vegetable, whole grains and low fat dairy products, as the CDC states that food deserts are areas that lack access to affordable fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy, and other foods that make up the full range of a healthy diet. The closest full service grocery store is a mile away in each direction, so the addition of these healthy foods are being provided to assist the neighborhood in healthy options, when a trip to the grocery store is not an easy option. The Flower Market Garden Grocer food items will be priced at grocery store prices, and will accept SNAP and WIC benefits, in the near future. Other future programs for this site include occasional cooking demos and a farmer’s market.
The Facts about SNAP
As Congress works to approve a 2013 Farm Bill, it is important to understand the realities associated with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as the food stamp program. Avoiding the cuts that are currently being proposed is critical as SNAP is a program that is serving America’s most vulnerable. For instance:
- 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, handicapped person, or an elderly person.
- These more vulnerable families receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits.
In addition, proposed SNAP program cuts will cause additional stress and hardship to families who are already struggling to make ends meet:
- The average SNAP household only has a gross monthly income of $744.
- The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 per person, per meal.
- Only 57 percent of food insecure individuals are income-eligible for SNAP, while 26% are not income-eligible for any federal food assistance.
The current need for nutritional assistance is more than what SNAP is currently able to fill, and cutting funding will further challenge American families struggling to put food on the table. Please visit Feeding America’s fact page on SNAP for more information about the program and the myths that are often associated with it. In addition, you can view a fact sheet from the Center for Law and Social Policy for information on current need among children and how policy solutions like SNAP help lift families out of poverty. A presentation from the U.S. Census Bureau on poverty and income data is also available for more background.
Legislative Event Focused on Senior Hunger
On April 29, 2013, ProMedica participated in a legislative breakfast hosted by the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio. Regional organizations and elected officials gave remarks pertaining to the hidden issue of hunger amongst seniors. In the below video, which was shown at the event, the Area Office on Aging puts a face on this issue by documenting the struggles of three older adults as they try to obtain enough food.
Toledo-Area Leaders Come to the Table
Nearly a quarter of families in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan do not have access to healthy food. ProMedica President and CEO Randy Oostra and Toledo Mayor Mike Bell invited leaders from all over the region to Come to the Table and discuss ways to end hunger in our communities. They challenged area leaders to work together to establish hunger-free zones in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.
For more information about the Come to the Table hunger initiative, contact ProMedica’s Advocacy department at 419-469-3896.
View a video below of Randy Oostra and Mayor Mike Bell discussing community hunger.
Come to the Table School Food Drive Competition
Hunger is a hidden problem in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. More than one out of five families in our region receives aid to help feed their families. This epidemic leads to significant health problems for community members, especially children. Children’s growth and ability to learn can suffer without proper nutrition. In adults, poor diets lead to poor health. As a healthcare leader in the regions we serve, ProMedica is working with community partners to address the problem of hunger. This year, ProMedica challenged elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in our service area to Come to the Table.
Congratulations to Christ the King School in Toledo, which raised more than 4300 pounds of non-perishable food items during their one-week food drive. In addition to the food collected, the school’s 8th grade student council members elected to donate their entire $1,000 award from ProMedica to the Assumption Outreach Center’s food program.
In addition to Christ the King, 14 other schools from the Ohio counties of Lucas, Sandusky, Seneca and Wood, as well as Hillsdale County in Michigan, raised more than 17,000 pounds of food during their respective food drives. All food collected was donated to a food program of the school’s choice in their own community.
Visit our Come to the Table resources page for ideas and templates on conducting your own food drive or weekend back-pack program.
Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry
Recently, ProMedica was selected as a Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Ally, which will bring additional resources to the northwest Ohio community to help end childhood hunger by 2015. One program, which helps to provide free lunches to schoolchildren in need through the summer, is supported by ProMedica’s Advocacy Fund.
View the video below to learn more about No Kid Hungry actiities in our community.
No Kid Hungry Documentary
The new documentary, "Hunger Hits Home," takes a first-hand look at the crisis of childhood hunger in America through the eyes of the parents, children, anti-hunger activists, educators and politicians on the frontlines of the battle. The film is part of an ongoing partnership between Food Network and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.
Addressing Hunger Essential to Improving Health
The relationship between eating well and good health is solidly acknowledged. We learn from an early age that “you are what you eat” and consuming fruits and vegetables is important. With the growth of the obesity epidemic, much of the attention to food consumption in America has focused on the volume, caloric density, and fat content of food consumed, with good reason. What’s often missing in our discussion of good health and food consumption, however, is the tragic level of hunger in America. In the richest nation, millions suffer the pangs of hunger and their health suffers as a result.
In a recent white paper developed by ProMedica and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, we examine the extent of hunger in America, the inextricable links of hunger to poor health and the need to consider hunger as a health issue to make the changes needed.
Helping Communities Fight Obesity
Our communities have also been affected by the national obesity epidemic. More than 30 percent of children and adolescents in Ohio are overweight or obese, according to the Ohio Department of Health, and more than 65 percent of adults fall into the same category. These statistics place a significant percentage of Ohio communities at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and more. To that end, ProMedica introduced the Fields of Green initiative in 2008 to raise awareness about proper nutrition and exercise and to increase access to healthier food in under-served areas. Within this program, the Healthy Kids Conversation Map® program was developed to empower elementary school children and their parents to make good decisions related to eating and physical activity. We have also partnered with The Center for Innovative Food Technology to establish the first vertical hydroponic garden in the Toledo area.
Being Advocates for our Communities
We further support our area residents through government relations efforts. We work with public officials, community stakeholders and our own hospital departments to ensure that local and national healthcare policies best serve the needs of our communities.