TOMS RIVER – For over 10 years, the employees and medical staff at Community Medical Center have collected food for local food pantries every summer through an annual food drive called Health Care Harvest.
This year, the 11th year of the drive, over 20,100 pounds of food was donated, which includes a generous $5,000 donation from Community Medical Center’s medical staff. Over the past 11 years, the hospital has donated 174,730 pounds of food to local food banks.
Health Care Harvest is founded and run by Thomas Yanisko, Administrative Director of Hospitality Services at Community Medical Center. “The food drive coincides with the end of the school year since free meal programs are no longer available and we don’t want any child to go hungry,” said Yanisko. “We want to make healthy food available to help establish healthy eating habits for children.”
Each department in the hospital makes it a competition every year to collect the most food, but for the fifth year in a row, the Finance Department won the award for the most food donated per person, with each employee collecting 118 pounds of food. Coming in second place was the Emergency Department with a total of 2,564 pounds collected, followed by the Radiology Department with a total of 2,063 pounds.
“Our goal is to keep the community healthy, and participating in the food drive is just another way to accomplish that,” said Michael Mimoso, MHSA, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Medical Center. “Our employees and medical staff are incredibly generous. They give of themselves through the exceptional care they provide to our patients and by their support of numerous community outreach programs, like the food drive,” he added.
Community Medical Center staff also takes part in an annual Tools for School backpack and school supplies drive and a Holiday Toy Drive, as well as a Healthcare Learning Collaborative with the Barnegat School System that gives students an opportunity to learn about the variety of roles and responsibilities that go into running a hospital.