Sentara Partners with Fredericksburg Food Bank for “We Care” Event

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center volunteers converged on the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank . These volunteers continued the healthcare provider’s mission to bolster the Commonwealth’s emergency food support system.

The “We Care” Initiative

Tuesday, volunteers filled 603 boxes in just three hours as part of Sentara Healthcare’s newly launched “We Care” initiative. The “We Care” model is to meet increased food insecurity in communities throughout Virginia. These boxes have a five-day food supply for families. In addition to providing healthy, nourishing meals, the boxes can be easily assembled to provide safe, low-touch distribution at existing locations managed by the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. In total, the “We Care” initiative will support the distribution of roughly 100,000 boxes.

“Sentara is committed to the communities we serve and is continually improving health every day,” said Kathie Johnson, President, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. “By addressing these food insecurities, we’re looking at the bigger picture. It’s an honor to be involved in this ‘We Care” event because it’s really making a difference for our community.”

A Collaborative Partnership

Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health have partnered with Truist, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. Three weeks ago, they launched the new statewide initiative. The “We Care” COVID-19 Virginia Emergency Food Support Plan is currently underway at food banks across the Commonwealth. The Plan will provide free, accessible meals and nourishment to families during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

This initiative is a collaborative partnership. The Commonwealth committed $1.4 million from the CARES Act funds. Start-up contributions of $500,000 each from Sentara Healthcare and Truist provided the first step toward establishing the program. Additional public and private contributions have brought the total to $2.6 million.

Due to COVID-19, Virginia’s food banks have responded to an unprecedented increase in demand. It’s estimated an additional 450,000 Virginians will now need aid this year than originally projected.

Governor Ralph Northam praised the “We Care” initiative as an exemplary model of how the public, nonprofit, and private sectors can partner to meet essential community needs.

”People are hurting right now, and the Commonwealth intends to be part of the solution to make sure people have access to the food they need. In America, we take care of each other in tough times … I’m grateful to the community partners who are stepping up,” said Governor Northam.

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