PALM SPRINGS – Today marks the start of a weeklong Healthy Over Hungry® Cereal Drive benefitting FIND Food Bank, a member of the Feeding America network. Three Coachella Valley hospitals are leading the effort.

Desert Care Network hospitals in the Coachella Valley — and Morongo Basin — are leading a community effort to provide area children and adults struggling with hunger with a healthy breakfast during the summer. The drive runs through Friday, June 14.

“At our hospitals, we see the health issues children and their families face from hunger and poor nutrition,” Michele Finney, CEO of Desert Care Network, said in a prepared statement. “We recognize the importance of beginning each day with a nutritious breakfast and, through this drive, we hope to help the many in our community struggling with food insecurity. We are fortunate to have a partner in FIND Food Bank, which provides food to pantries and distribution centers in the low and high desert areas. We invite you to join our Healthy Over Hungry® campaign to help feed children this summer.”

In this region, eight out of 10 local schoolchildren qualify for school-based meals through the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Program, which often provides lunch and snacks as well as breakfast each day.  Whole-grain cereal, when part of a healthy, balanced breakfast including dairy, fruit and lean protein, is a popular food item that experts say can help address the hunger gap during the summer months when children are not in school.

“There are over 58,000 local children throughout our desert who qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch meal programs during the school year. Now that school is out for the summer, we need to ensure that all of them have equal access to receiving nutritious food resources,” Debbie Espinoza, President and CEO of FIND Food Bank, said in a prepared statement. “We are so thankful for Tenet Healthcare (Desert Regional, JFK Memorial and Hi-Desert Medical Center) and their support of FIND Food Bank’s summer food distribution program that reaches more than 6,000 children and their families every week. Together, we are making a difference.”

Donations of healthy cereal to the Healthy Over Hungry® Cereal Drive will be collected from today, June 7 through June 14 in the main lobbies of Desert Regional Medical Center, 1150 N. Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs; JFK Memorial Hospital, 47111 Monroe St. in Indio; or Hi-Desert Medical Center, 6601 White Feather Road in Joshua Tree.

Desert Care Network’s annual campaign was started in 2015.

Last year, Desert Care Network’s two Coachella Valley hospitals, Desert Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial Hospital donated 2,330 boxes of cereal and $1,802 to FIND Food Bank.

Desert Care Network’s Morongo Basin hospital, Hi-Desert Medical Center, donated 1,784 boxes of cereal to The Way Station in Joshua Tree, and donated $5,358 to FIND Food Bank during its Healthy Over Hungry® Cereal Drive.

About Desert Care Network

Desert Care Network is an integrated healthcare system consisting of three acute care hospitals and 30 affiliated entities, including ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers, clinics and ancillary services, across the desert. The hospitals are Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, and Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree.



Image Sources

  • Cereal Drive: Shutterstock