The staff at Fitzgibbon Hospital and The Living Center are conducting an annual food drive during the holiday season as a way of giving back to the community. The food drive is being conducted in conjunction with the annual observance of National Rural Health Day, which is Thursday, Nov. 16. All food collected this year will be donated to the Saline County Holiday Project, which will have its distribution at the Martin Community Center on Dec. 14.
“So often the Marshall community has come forward to support the hospital in many generous ways, but the annual food drive is strictly about those in need outside the hospital walls. So this is a great way for hospital employees – and the public visiting our hospital and clinics - to show their generosity and give back to our community,” said Angy Litrell, President and CEO of Fitzgibbon Hospital.
Departments within Fitzgibbon Hospital foster a feeling of fun competition as each one tries to bring the most food. The Financial Services department has donated the most pounds of food the last two years. While the food drive is conducted by the staff, individuals from the community are also welcome to bring their non-perishable food items to a receptacle that will be available in the FitzCafe, as well as in out outlying clinics.
In addition to this food drive at Fitzgibbon Hospital, clinic personnel at the Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic in Slater are also conducting their annual food drive to benefit the food pantry in Slater. Individuals can bring non-perishable items to the lobby at the Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic located at 420 West Front Street in Slater.
Each of these food drives are held in conjunction with National Rural Health Day which seeks to provide awareness and education about the challenges of healthcare access and delivery in rural communities. According to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, rural community residents living at or below the poverty line are 3% more than those living in urban areas. Approximately 85% of the country’s land area is considered rural. This income disparity, paired with the challenges rural hospitals and clinics face in recruitment of healthcare professionals means that healthcare delivery in rural America remains a significant challenge.
If you would like to participate in the Fitzgibbon Hospital Rural Health Day Food Drive, bring your non-perishable items to the FitzCafe inside Fitzgibbon Hospital, or to the lobby inside the Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic. Food items will be collected until Friday, Nov. 17 at Fitzgibbon Hospital, and until Wednesday, Nov. 22, at Akeman-McBurney Medical Clinic in Slater.