Shelby Baptist Medical Center Helps Fight Childhood Hunger

By Brady Talbert / Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Boxes of cereal are beginning to consolidate within the walls of the Shelby Baptist Medical Center, as a little friendly competition between hospital staff collects goods for a local food bank.

“Because Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation” is the motto behind Shelby Baptist’s Healthy Over Hungry food drive, as the medical center gathers donations for the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Each department of the facility is combined with other departments of the medical staff, creating teams for this year’s drive. The goal is for each group to bring in the most number of cereal boxes, but aside from hopes of winning the competition, Susan Staniszewski, Imaging Services director and coordinator of this year’s philanthropic event, believes there is more on the line than just fun and games.

Staniszewski said the drive gives back to the community because it makes sure local food banks have plenty of inventory and ensures children can “continue to have breakfast over the summer.” According to Elizabeth Wix, Community Food Bank of Central Alabama director of partnerships, with some students on a free or reduced lunch plan during the school year this drive “comes in a good time of year.” As many food drives are typically during the fall and winter months, Wix said that food donations during the warmer seasons can diminish, meaning drives like these help “fight childhood hunger.”

This is the hospital’s third year of hosting the drive and Staniszewski stresses that “if you can donate to us, or you can donate to the food bank, either way we’ve got to make sure that the children of Alabama are fed. Fed well and healthy.”

Shelby Baptist is also putting on activities and hosting local vendors to purchase goods to compliment the cereal donations. Staniszewski said the “monetary donations to buy milk and juice… are just as nutritious.” On Tuesday, June 5, Dreamcakes will be selling cupcakes in front of the medical center. The following day on Wednesday, June 6, Shelby Baptist will host a hotdog lunch fundraiser with prices starting at $4 for a hotdog, bag of chips and a drink. On Thursday, June 7, local popsicle company Frios Gourmet Pops will be serving cool treats outside to combat the summer sun.

To make a cereal or monetary donation to the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive, the public is asked to bring contributions to any of the five Brookwood Baptist Health hospitals through Friday, June 8. Brookwood Baptist Health’s parent company, Tenet Healthcare, says they will match any donations made up to $100,000.