Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Employees Deliver Thanksgiving Groceries
To help nourish homeless and low-income community members, staff from Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital helped fill grocery bags at St. Joseph Center with canned goods they collected for the Center’s annual Thanksgiving food drive.
“It’s great to know we’re helping make someone else’s holiday a little brighter,” said Lauren Amato, RD, director of Nutrition Services at Marina Del Rey Hospital. “It’s an added bonus that we can help individuals to get good nourishment and improve their wellbeing during the festive season.”
While many Angelenos celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast, a large number of the County’s low-income residents don’t know when they’ll eat their next meal. According to a report last year from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, almost 1.7 million people in Los Angeles suffer from food insecurity, the inability to afford nutritionally adequate, safe food to fuel an active, healthy life.
People experiencing chronic homelessness are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, studies show. And homelessness has become a growing concern for Marina Del Rey residents and businesses as the community has seen this vulnerable population grow. Recently, Marina Del Rey Hospital employees surveyed the homeless patients coming to the Emergency Department and found that they need help accessing public services and programs.
As a result of the survey’s findings, the hospital recently launched a Homeless Navigator program to connect individuals to the resources and programs that can help keep them healthy. The hospital also gave grants to St. Joseph Center and the Venice Family Clinic to bolster the non-profits’ healthcare programs for homeless individuals.
The Thanksgiving food drive resulted in more than 1,000 items of food that will help nourish homeless and low-income community members over the holiday.
“This Thanksgiving, St. Joseph Center is distributing more than 900 turkeys with all the fixings to people in need. It would be impossible for us to have this broad impact without the support of dedicated community partners like Marina del Rey Hospital. We are so thankful for the part Cedars Sinai is playing in bringing a Happy Thanksgiving to hundreds of the men, women, and children we serve," said Paul Rubenstein, vice president of Development and Communications at St. Joseph Center.