Newswise — CLEVELAND—University Hospitals (UH) east region community hospitals are collaborating with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to provide hunger-free holidays for families in need.

Donation boxes will be placed at UH Ahuja, Bedford, Conneaut, Geauga, Geneva, Portage and Richmond Medical Center entrances from December 1 through December 15. Caregivers can voluntarily bring non-perishable food items when they report to work, and UH EMS vehicles will be transporting donations to the food bank.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, community members who are not employees cannot enter the hospitals; however, to make donating easy for the community, UH and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank have developed a virtual food drive for monetary donations. Just one dollar can provide four nutritious meals, so donations of all sizes go a long way:

“UH understands the importance of taking care of our patients and communities clinically, but also throughout their everyday lives,” said M. Steven Jones, President, UH Community Hospitals East. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the areas where our patients live face incredible challenges. Nutritious food and a healthy lifestyle is the best preventive medicine, and we look forward to joining the Greater Cleveland Food Bank in this vital initiative.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies households as food insecure if they experience limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods throughout the year. With the cold weather arriving in Northeast Ohio, there will be an increase in need for nutritional food items.

“Throughout Northeast Ohio, one in six people is food insecure – meaning they may not know where their next meal will come from and that number will continue to increase this year in the midst of the pandemic and economic crisis,” said Kristin Warzocha, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “The Greater Cleveland Food Bank seeks to bridge the meal gap, connecting individuals with the meals they need to thrive. We are happy to be collaborating with University Hospitals to provide nutrition to those in need this holiday season and into the new year.”

The top ten most needed donations are beans (canned or dried), peanut butter, canned or boxed entrees, pasta sauce (low sodium), 100% juice, cereal (hot or cold), canned protein (like tuna or chicken), whole grain rice and pasta, and canned fruits and vegetables. Monetary donations also go a long way, with one dollar providing four nutritious meals.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank will be utilizing donations to help those in need in a number of ways, including backpack meals for children on the weekends who rely on school cafeterias for meals, and emergency boxes of food distributed weekly at drive-thru locations.

Throughout December, in addition to UH, UH EMS coordinators, County Health Departments, Chambers of Commerce, local businesses, government and city leaders, schools, fire and police departments, as well as grocery stores will be hosting similar events independent of the medical centers.


About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 19 hospitals (including 4 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute–part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 28,000 physicians and employees.  Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future, and the organization’s unwavering mission is To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit