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DHM staff collects 340 pounds of cereal
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Shown with some of the cereal are, from left, Doctors Hospital staff members Kelly Carpo and Mike Field along with Jessica Vaughn of the Food Bank. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Doctors Hospital of Manteca helped launch the “Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive” from May 29 to June 5 to lead a community effort to provide area children, struggling with hunger, healthy breakfasts during the summer months.

Doctors Hospital itself collected 339.5 pounds of cereal or 3,395 servings and $100 in cash.  Overall, the Second Harvest Food Bank netted 2.6 million servings of cereal and raised $75,000 to buy perishable food items.

 “At Doctors Hospital of Manteca, we recognize hunger exists throughout California’s Central Valley – a region that is paradoxically a primary source of our nation’s food,” noted Doctors CEO Nicholas Tejeda. “Our team was eager to join this fight against hunger and make a difference in the communities we serve.”

Tejeda added, “We recognize the importance of good nutrition and of good health and we hope that, through this drive, we can help our neighbors in the Central Valley.”

Tejeda noted that in San Joaquin County alone there are an estimated 113,260 people living in food insecure households including 54,380 food insecure children – some 27 percent of the total number of children living in the county.

“We feel strongly that hunger doesn’t take a holiday,” said Food Bank CEO Mike Mallory.  “The summer months are some of the hardest for families with children who are no longer receiving meals while away from school.  The need for parents to purchase additional food items for those few months causes a huge strain on already stretched family budgets.

“Food Bank partners like Doctors Hospital help ease the strain by providing healthier breakfast options to those families that are struggling and need a helping hand,” Mallory said.