Second Harvest Food Bank, Mercy Health collaborate for Giving Tuesday

Second Harvest Food Bank is collaborating with Mercy Health - Springfield on this year’s Giving Tuesday, a global day of charitable giving.

“Your generosity on this special day will have a ripple effect in the battle against hunger in our community,” said Andy Irick, executive director. “With the steadfast backing of Mercy Health, we can make a profound and lasting impact on the lives of those who rely on us for their essential food and nutrition needs.”

For this collaboration, Mercy Health has offered a $20,000 matching gift to support the food bank’s mission of alleviating hunger and food insecurity in the community because they “recognize the essential role that Second Harvest plays in improving the well-being of the community’s vulnerable and underserved populations.”

“Together we can fight hunger,” said Adam Groshans, president of Mercy Health - Springfield. “This Giving Tuesday, I would like to encourage anyone who is able to make a gift to Second Harvest Food Bank to do so, knowing that their impact will be doubled based on the matching pledge by Mercy Health.”

Donations on Giving Tuesday help neighbors such as Cathy Wheatly, whose family relies on the support of the food bank.

“Second Harvest has been a blessing for us. They not only provide us with food but also the care and understanding we need in challenging times,” Wheatly said.

Wheatly and her husband, who battles Alzheimer’s and other health issues, have been recipients of the food bank’s home delivery services. This program provides them with groceries and pre-made meals to supplement their monthly SNAP food stamp benefits to “ensure they have access to the nutritious food they need.”

“For Cathy and her husband, our delivery service is more than just a convenience; it is a lifeline,” Jennifer Brunner, development director, said. “Her husband’s health conditions demand special meals, and they grapple with limited access to transportation for grocery shopping.”

Food insecurity affects countless families in the community, which leads to negative health outcomes and challenges such as infant mortality, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, food bank officials said. The food bank works to address these concerns by making sure families like the Wheatlys have access to nutritious food for a healthy life.

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