A coalition of community organizations recently collaborated to provide boxes of food to families and patients affected by cancer. A community partnership formed by the AdventHealth Redmond Oncology Committee, the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition (NGRCC), Helping Hands Ending Hunger INC., Summit Quest, and the UGA Extension recently hosted a food distribution event for patients and families affected by cancer.

Erin Hernandez, CEO and Director of the NGRCC and Edma Diller, Director of Regulatory Affairs at AdventHealth Redmond identified food insecurity and access as a top need among local cancer patients.

“Almost 28% of cancer patients have experienced food insecurity at some point during their journey.  Many patients must reallocate funds to pay for their treatment instead of things that they would normally pay for, such as groceries,” said Erin Hernandez.

Food was provided from Helping Hands Ending Hunger INC., a non-profit agency directed by Carla Harward and her team dedicated to serving food insecure populations through the schools and community. The volunteers distributed 50 boxes of groceries to invited patients and families which contained healthy fruits and vegetables, dried beans, and ground turkey, along with recipes to help support their neighbors in need. 

Patients were identified through Summit Quest, a non-profit organization that provides strength, hope and service to children and families affected by cancer, and AdventHealth Redmond’s Oncology Programs. The food distribution event reached 54 households with 96 adults and 39 children.

“Our cancer committee was looking for an opportunity to serve our patients and to remove barriers to care. One of the biggest barriers to care is food insecurity and lack of affordable healthy foods in our community,” said Edma Diller. “We’re here for our mission, which is to serve and to extend the healing ministry of Christ. While we provide medicine and treatment, patients cannot heal and recover if they do not have the basics such as food for themselves and their families.  We appreciate the exceptional collaboration and support of our community partners because their support turned this idea into a successful event.”  

The team at AdventHealth Redmond is eager to continue and further develop community partnerships and is energized to work together to identify and respond to the needs of our patients and community.