Feeding Families in Need

UVMC’s Community Benefit Fund helps alleviate food insecurity in Miami County.

Upper Valley Medical Center’s (UVMC) Community Benefit Fund provides vital support in Miami County to those in need. Over the past decade, the fund has invested nearly $24 million dollars in local health safety net organizations.

“We know that hunger and health are very closely connected. People who lack access to sufficient nutritious food are disproportionately susceptible to chronic diseases and many adverse effects on overall health,” said Kevin Harlan, UVMC president.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund, led by the UVMC Parent Board of Directors, began providing donations to five Miami County soup kitchens and food banks. As use of these organizations has increased, support was expanded to include eight nonprofit organizations throughout Miami County: St. Patrick Soup Kitchen, Lincoln Community Center, First Place Food Pantry, Bethany Center, Piqua Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels of Piqua, Needy Basket of Southern Miami County, and New Path Inc. of Miami County.

Bethany Center is a soup kitchen staffed by dedicated volunteers who help prepare and serve an average of 80 meals per day to residents in Piqua and surrounding areas. “In addition to providing meals, the soup kitchen offers a safe and welcoming environment for people to socialize and connect with others in our community,” said Bethany Center’s director, Shawn Rickert.

The center also provides Piqua with a food pantry stocked with donated fresh produce, canned goods, and dairy products. Volunteers distribute these groceries to about 800 people each month. “The generosity and kindness of our donors and volunteers are what make our mission possible. Without them, we would not be able to provide the same level of service to those who need it,” said Rickert.

The St. Patrick Soup Kitchen serves 24,000 meals per year, six days each week, to the people in and around Troy. “We planned to serve 1500 people on Thanksgiving and 1400 people for Christmas,” said Dick Steineman, director of St. Patrick Soup Kitchen. “We greatly appreciate the generosity of Upper Valley Medical Center’s Community Benefit Fund to help
us with this important work.”

“UVMC is proud to partner with local organizations to help alleviate food insecurity for our neighbors in need,” said Harlan.