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Adventist Health Hospitals & Clinics invite community to give back thru Holiday Food Drive and Committing $10,000 Matching Grant for Local Food Banks


In the spirit of the holiday season and giving back, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and Adventist Health Howard Memorial are donating $10,000 to the Ukiah Food Bank and Willits Food Bank/Community Services to kick off this year’s Winter Fund Drive, an annual campaign that is one of the biggest fundraisers for both local food banks.

“As a healthcare organization, we believe supporting efforts to address food insecurity is a natural fit for us. Access to nutritious and healthy food play an important role in the healing process and preventing chronic health issues,” shares Jason Wells, president for Adventist Health Howard Memorial and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.

“More importantly, chronic stress can affect mental and physical health. And not knowing where your next meal is coming from can be stressful. That’s why we want to support the Ukiah Food Bank and Willits Food Bank who work tirelessly to provide resources to those who need it most. It’s important to us to give back to make sure families are provided so it’s one less thing they have to worry about,” he explains.

“We’re so grateful to Adventist Health for kicking us off to a good start for fundraising. They’ve supported us year after year and their commitment to our communities is very inspiring,” shares Jacque Williams, director for the Ukiah Food Bank.

“While the economy has improved in the last couple of years, the needs of some of our neighbors still remain. Higher employment, and salaries are positive indicators, but they do not impact our seniors, the disabled and working families struggling with the high cost of living,” Williams explains.

“They’re not starving, it’s not that kind of thing. But it is an uncertainty of where their next meal might come from. It’s about the seniors or those unable to work that are on fixed incomes. So they don’t have to decide if they can eat or buy their medicine. They're able to afford their medicine and food because we’re able to help,” adds Ruthanne Volz interim director for the Willits Food Bank.

By the end of 2019, the Ukiah Food Bank will distribute over 552,000 lbs. of food, which represent 460,216 meals. They distribute an average of 39 pounds of food a month, 19 pounds of which is fresh produce.

“We have seen an increase of 23% of in clients this year. The need is bigger than ever. So any support can go a long way,” Williams adds.

“We have been serving those in need in our community for years. And it is through the support of local organizations and community members that we have been able to continue this work. We’re truly blessed to live in such a giving community,” shares Volz.

To take their giving program further, both hospitals are inviting the community to support their efforts by donating to the Holiday Food Drive. Beginning December 1, the hospital will be collecting non-perishable food items to be delivered to the local food banks.

Donation bins will be in various areas of both hospitals. Items most needed include: canned vegetables and fruit, such as peaches, yams, beans, chili and soups. Canned meat is a good source of protein such as tuna and chicken.

“Peanut butter is the most requested and most used. So we can never have too much peanut butter,” adds Williams.

“The holidays are all about love and sharing and our team is passionate about caring for our community. I’m proud of our 1,200 team members for their dedication and heart for service,” concludes Jason Wells.

Donations of non-perishable food items for the Holiday Food drive will be accepted until December 31. Drop off donations at either Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, 275 Hospital Drive in Ukiah or Adventist Health Howard Memorial at 1 Marcela Drive in Willits.