West Suburban Medical Center launches Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive

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By Community Editor

West Suburban Medical Center Collects Cereal to Benefit Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry

OAK PARK, Ill. – June 3, 2016 – West Suburban Medical Center (West Suburban) launched Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive to help area families struggling with hunger during the summer. The drive will benefit the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. "At West Suburban Medical Center, we recognize hunger exists in every city in America, and our compassionate staff is once again eager to join the fight against hunger and make a difference in our community," said Patrick Maloney, CEO, West Suburban. "Last year, our organization donated nearly 10,000 breakfast food servings and we hope to reach 12, 000 this summer," Mr. Maloney added.

West Suburban offers two ways to contribute to its Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive, beginning June 3, 2016. One does not require a trip to a grocery store as the monetary donations are accepted on the Virtual Food Drive: www.westsuburbanmc.com/cereal and it is a very convenient way for busy individuals who want to make a difference.

Starting June 3 and through June 10, the hospital also is accepting donations of whole-grain cereal, cereal brands low in calories and sugar, cereal brands high in fiber, and healthy breakfast bars at the main hospital lobby at 3 Erie Court, Oak Park. Donors may call the main hospital number (708) 683-6200 for more information.

"Many families in the communities we serve face economic challenges," said Sarah Dean, Director of Community Outreach Programs, West Suburban. "We know that summer is a particularly hard time for those struggling with hunger. Children can no longer rely on their schools for nutritious meals and giving to food banks is historically lower during this time each year. We recognize the importance of good nutrition to good health and hope that, through this drive, we can help those struggling with food insecurity."

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2014, 15.8 million children, under the age of 18, in the U.S. are unable to access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Whole-grain cereal, when part of a healthy, balanced breakfast including dairy, fruit and lean protein, is a popular food item that experts say can easily address the hunger gap during the summer months when children are not in school. Healthy cereal contains one serving of whole grain, no more than 200 calories per serving, six grams or less of sugar and at least three grams of fiber per serving. It should also be free of artificial colors and dyes.

In Cook County, it is estimated that 1 out of 6 people struggle with hunger. With many hungry mouths to feed, local programming and support is essential.



About Suburban Medical Center

West Suburban Medical Center is a 234-bed teaching hospital located in Oak Park, Ill. and accredited by The Joint Commission. More than 300 physician specialists offer a comprehensive array of advanced inpatient, outpatient and surgical services at West Suburban Medical Center and the River Forest Medical Campus in River Forest, Ill. West Suburban Medical Center is a leader in robotic and minimally invasive surgery, natural birthing and obstetrics, emergency medicine, cancer care, gastroenterology and rehabilitation. The hospital is a certified Chest Pain Center, a Primary Stroke Center and is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. West Suburban Medical Center has received straight A's from the Leapfrog Group for the Hospital Safety Score. West Suburban Medical Center is owned by Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a leading health care services company, which through its subsidiaries operates 20 short-stay surgical hospitals, 84 acute care hospitals, 470+ outpatient centers nationwide, in addition to 9 facilities in the UK. www.westsubmc.com

About Our Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry

Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry's mission is to work together as a community to reduce hunger locally through direct hunger relief services, hunger awareness education and advocacy to influence anti-hunger policy. In fiscal year 2015, OPRF Food Pantry provide each of the 15, 835 families who visited the pantry with nearly 50 lbs of nutritious food and access to important services. www.oprffoodpantry.org

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