Giving Tuesday Feeds More Than 1,000 People

Donations to One Box, One Community delivered nutritious food to families in need during the holidays
One Box Recap 2021

During the past holiday season, gifts supporting a program that provides healthy and affordable food to people in need helped feed more than 1,000 people living on Chicago’s West Side.

Gifts to Rush for Giving Tuesday supported One Box, One Community, a partnership that delivers nutritious food to families facing challenges with food access— issues that have been further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each donation of $43 fed a family of four for 1 1/2 weeks with fresh, healthy food and included ingredients for a holiday dinner.

Lack of access to healthy foods is one of many factors contributing to the lower life expectancy for those who live in Black and Latinx communities. Rush University Medical Center is surrounded by neighborhoods where residents’ health has been jeopardized due to years of economic disinvestment and neglect. As a result, access to healthy, fresh and affordable food is limited, creating areas known as food deserts.

Rush faculty and staff previously implemented a patient screening tool to identify individuals struggling with food insecurity. Early in the pandemic, staff quickly created a food response program that continues today. 

Watch: Rush REACH and Top Box Donate Food to the Community

In December, food boxes and meals donated through Giving Tuesday gifts were distributed to schools, community organizations, churches and people experiencing homelessness, as well as Rush employees and patients. Related programs and extensions are underway to continue these meaningful efforts into 2021 and beyond.

Volunteers shared several stories of recipients feeling seen, cared for and hopeful after receiving the food donations. Here is one example:

“Zuri works full time and doesn’t qualify for public assistance or SNAP benefits, leaving her with little money before her next payday. Understandably, Zuri felt defeated, angry and unclear about her next steps. Without steady income, she would potentially be unable to provide food for [herself] and her teenage daughter. Fearful and losing hope, Zuri focused on coming to work every day that she was scheduled, looking for support and was open to assistance. We were able to deliver an emergency meal package to Zuri personally, and to see the smile on her family’s faces was priceless. She was so grateful for the support, not only the food but the respect and lack of judgment.”

Thank you for supporting our communities and removing the barriers to health that far too many of our neighbors encounter.

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