As published in the Mount Shasta Area Newspapers on January 16, 2019
Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, in conjunction with all other Dignity Health facilities, recently awarded $26,946 in grant funding to Great Northern Services for the healthy child nutrition programs GNS provides in partnership with Weed Elementary School, Boys and Girls Club of the Siskiyous, and Grocery Outlet.
The funds for the project were awarded to Great Northern Services by Mercy Mt. Shasta President Rodger Page and Senior Director Mission Integration Tom Miller during a brief ceremony during the hospital’s most recent Community Advisory Council meeting.
Through the local community grants program, Mercy Mt. Shasta and Dignity Health “seek to partner with other non-profit organizations that are working to improve the health status and quality of life of the communities we serve,” according to a press release.
“It is important to support other whose mission and vision is in concert with ours,” Rodger Page states in the release. “Great Northern Services’ mission aligns with our core values and they provide a tremendous service to our county. By collaborating with area agencies we are able to support new and innovative programs focused on identified community health concerns.”
In a collaborative effort, GNS, WES, Boys and Girls Club of the Siskiyous and Grocery Outlet each bring their areas of expertise to focus on childhood obesity and healthy nutritional habits.
The funded project focuses on three key programs related to issues surrounding healthy child nutrition. As detailed in the release:
- The Holiday Snack Bag Program is available during the school year at Dunsmuir, McCloud, Mt. Shasta and Weed Elementary schools. The program provides healthy kid-friendly snacks during extended breaks. Available food items include cheese, yogurt, fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta and additional protein items. Any student who registers for the program can take home snack bags, with a goal of helping to meet their nutritional needs during breaks when they do not have access to free- or reduced-price lunches.
- The School Mini-Pantries are similar to the snack bag program and are located in 15 schools throughout Siskiyou County. The pantries are readily accessible to all students who need a snack during the day or items to take home at night.
- The Nutritional Education Program “Cooking Matters” involves quarterly cooking classes as an elective for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students held at Weed Elementary School using a curriculum designed by the Women Infants and Children (WIC) national program. The program teaches students how to plan, shop for, and prepare healthy meals for their family.
“Our community grants program awards funding in direct response to specific health priorities identified in the Dignity Health Community Health Needs Assessment, which was completed in 2017,” said Miller, Mercy’s grant program lead. “Collaborative projects with other organizations were a priority aspect of the criteria used to make the selection.”
“We are honored to support the efforts of these organizations. Through their good works, we further our mission to provide quality healthcare programs to the communities we serve.”