Abrazo Scottsdale assists in cereal drive for St. Mary’s Food Bank

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Tami Biggs displays some of the cereal donated by hospital staff and community members. (Submitted Photo)

Abrazo Community Health Network’s hospitals collected cereal and money that will provide 41,425 breakfast servings for hungry children this summer.

The donations were collected at nine Abrazo facilities as part of the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive which ended Friday, June 9, a press release states.

Abrazo Scottsdale Campus collected enough cereal and money to generate 2,050 servings and Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital collected cereal for 3,700 servings. Donations went to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, according to a release.

The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive’s purpose is to feed hungry children during the summer months when they don’t have access to school meals.

“At Abrazo Community Health Network, our goal is not only to help patients get well but also to help our community understand and take control of their health,” Market Chief Medical Officer Dr. William Ellert said in a prepared statement.

“Part of this includes recognizing the importance of good nutrition. Through this drive, we can help those who are struggling with food insecurity.”

Arizona ranks third in the country for high child food insecurity rates, behind only New Mexico and Mississippi, with 456,760 children facing hunger on a daily basis, according to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

“We appreciate Abrazo Community Health Network hospitals for hosting the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive,” Jerry Brown, director of public relations for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, said in a prepared statement.

“Summer is a particularly difficult time for our food bank because many children can no longer rely on their schools for meals so their families often turn to us for help. Thanks to Abrazo Community Health Network hospitals and the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive, many families will have a healthy breakfast.”

To make an even greater impact this year, Tenet Healthcare is matching all financial donations made as part of the cereal drives at Abrazo hospitals and other Tenet facilities nationally up to $100,000 collectively to provide perishable breakfast items such as milk, lean protein and fruit. For every $1 donation, five meals can be provided by food banks.

Whole-grain cereal, when part of a balanced breakfast including dairy, fruit and lean protein are food items experts say can easily address the hunger gap during the summer months when children are not in school.

Healthy cereal, by definition, contain one serving of whole grain, no more than 200 calories per serving, six grams or less of sugar and at least three grams of fiber per serving. It should also be free of artificial colors and dyes.

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