For Immediate Release June 25, 2024

Murphysboro Food Pantry Donation

SIH St. Joseph Memorial Hospital staff showcase the food collected for a food pantry in their community

Hunger doesn't take a summer vacation. SIH senior leaders, directors and managers turned out in a big way to support four area food pantries with donations totaling more than 1,200 pounds. SIH wove the community service initiative into the June 7 leadership retreat at John A. Logan College.

"Events like this build upon our efforts to impact health disparities. Examples include the work of our Mission and Values Teams, the SIH Foundation, SIH Community Benefits and various committees," said Angie Bailey, system director of community health and community benefits.

Food insecurity - the lack of affordable, healthy food - traditionally peaks in the summer. Regional food pantries affiliated with the Southern Illinois Food Pantry Network shared they were struggling to keep their shelves stocked.

Donations from the SIH leadership retreat went to these food pantries:

  • Murphysboro Food Pantry
  • Victory Dream Center in Carbondale
  • The Four C's in Harrisburg
  • Herrin Food Pantry

Data gleaned through a social determinants of health screening in place at all four hospitals since November shows food insecurity as a concern.

Initial estimates among those screened:

  • SIH Harrisburg Medical Center – 22.13%, most need involving patients at SIH Mulberry Center
  • SIH Herrin Hospital – 3.65%
  • SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale – 3.19%
  • SIH St. Joseph Memorial Hospital – 2.75%

"We continue to make addressing health disparities a priority among our patients and our community. This work is not only important and a priority to help reduce re-admissions and healthcare costs, but also in assisting us to improve patient outcomes," Bailey said.