Medline employees fight food insecurity by donating produce and backing local pantries
Donated food was harvested from Medline’s own garden and given to the Northfield Township Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels Northeastern Illinois
By Medline Newsroom Staff | November 5, 2020
Reliable access to healthy food has long been a struggle for millions of Americans, but COVID-19 has only made matters worse. In the height of the pandemic, one in eight Americans is food insecure, meaning they’re unable to consistently get enough food to lead a healthy life.
To help those in need, Medline employees harvested more than 550 pounds of fresh produce from the company’s fruit and vegetable garden in Northfield, Illinois and donated it to two local pantries: the Northfield Township Food Pantry, a nonprofit currently serving 830 families in Illinois, and Meals on Wheels Northeastern Illinois, which delivers nutritious meals to homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities.
Along with fresh produce, Medline employees have donated non-perishable items, and prior to the pandemic, the company was donating fresh and prepared food items from its cafeteria on a weekly basis.
“Everything that the Northfield Township Food Pantry distributes is donated or paid for with donated funds, so it’s absolutely critical that places like Medline support us the way that they do,” said Township Supervisor Jill Brickman. “The produce that we receive rounds out the distributions so wonderfully.”
Medline also addresses food insecurity through Medline CARES, an initiative launched earlier this year. Medline CARES focuses on addressing social determinants of health like access to food by investing crucial financial and human resources in the communities where employees live and work.
“We intentionally focus on key areas where we feel we can have the largest impact on our employees and the broader community,” said Karen Frey, Medline’s senior philanthropy manager.
Through Medline CARES, the company has donated over $47,000 to food pantries all across the country since May and has given away thousands of facemasks at food pantry pop-events to promote both safety and health. Through its Community Impact Grant program, the Medline Foundation has awarded $78,800 this year to multiple food pantries to help them expand their services to low-income families and other vulnerable community members.
“Our ultimate goal is to stimulate health equity and improve population health. This is and always will be our ongoing commitment to our communities,” said Frey.