November 8, 2013

Food Pantry exceeds October goal

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – It was in July of 2012 that a group of concerned Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) staff members and volunteers initiated the Friends and Family Nutrition Fund with a goal of providing nutritional assistance to recently discharged, financially challenged patients and their families.

Assistant Director of Food Services Jerry Coulter and Clinical Dietitian Keri Howell spearheaded the project with support from the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation. The group, including the Planetree Nutritional and Nurturing Aspects of Food Team, forged a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank and the MRMC Food Pantry became a reality.

“Over the past year, Maury Regional social workers, nurses and staff members, including Home Health, the Cancer Center and the Wound Center, joined in the team’s efforts to provide care packages of pantry items to patients and their families,” said Howell. “The food pantry has assisted 120 patients with care packages, and 22 of those patients have received packages two or more times. In October of this year, the pantry distributed 25 packages to families in need, five more than our set goal for the month. This is the most we have given out in a single month.”

“Keri and I were able to help one family that had six kids at home,” said MRMC Disability Liaison Kim Wanasek. “It kind of felt like Christmas — getting all those boxes together for them. It was great seeing all we were able to give to them.”

A family that received food through the nutrition fund recently sent a letter expressing their thanks.  They wrote, “We were very surprised at the quality of the food and how much we got each time. The food was healthy and we were able to use every bit of the food. The program is excellent! We really appreciate it.”

As the holiday season approaches, the Foundation is reaching out to the community for help meeting the needs of as many families as possible.

“Through our partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, we are able to purchase food at a very affordable price but keeping up with the need is difficult and logistics prevent us from accepting food donations at the medical center,” said Health Care Foundation Director Joe Kilgore. “As we approach the holiday season we are reaching out to the community for help. Every financial gift will help make a difference for a family in need.”

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation, 1224 Trotwood Avenue, Columbia, TN 38401 or at Include “Family and Friends Nutrition Fund” on the memo line of your check or in the comments section online.

MRMC Cancer Center courier Detristin "DT" Lowery

transports care packages from the food pantry

to the Cancer Center at the Mall for distribution.


About Maury Regional Health Care Foundation:

The Maury Regional Health Care Foundation was established in October 2006. Financial support received through the foundation is used for projects including community health initiatives, education scholarships, and other health-related projects. The foundation is designated as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax-deductible. Gifts may be made in honor or in memory of an individual and may be donated to one of several funds. For more information about the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation and giving opportunities, please call 931.380.4075 or visit