For the past few weeks the employees at IU Health have been busy with an initiative aimed at encouraging healthy eating behavior in Central Indiana communities.The goal: to collect enough healthy foods items to fill 1,000 Healthy Snack Packs for distribution through Salvation Army programs in Central Indiana.
Employees at the Gateway Building, IU Health’s busy facility on north Meridian Street in Indianapolis, brought in items like granola bars, applesauce, raisins and single serve cups of peanut butter. Additional items were purchased by IU Health and 2,000 bottles of flavored and plain water were donated by Nestle.
The project was developed by the IU Health Community Outreach and Engagement department as a way for employees who were unable to participate in the company’s Day of Giving to still participate in a community service project.
“We knew we wanted to partner with someone in the community,” said Allison Rosebrough, who helped coordinate the project. “We started throwing out names, and when The Salvation Army came up we knew they could find good uses for the snack packs.”
The Healthy Snack Packs will be used in Salvation Army programs in Indianapolis and surrounding communities. Nutrition information inside the bags help adults and children learn more about making healthy food choices and integrating fresh foods into their diets. This coincides with other IU Health initiatives, like Garden on the Go, a truck that travels to urban “food deserts” (neighborhoods without grocery stores) and sells reduced-cost fresh fruit and vegetables to area residents.
It isn’t the first time that IU Health has donated time and resources to help out The Salvation Army. Just last year, a group of volunteers served food to moms and kids at the Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center.
Community partners are a blessing to The Salvation Army. While 83 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army goes directly to services, donations of goods and volunteer hours allow us stretch those dollars even farther. If your business or organization would like to include The Salvation Army in a community service project, contact Brian Smith at (317) 224-1010 or Brian_Smith@usc.salvationarmy.org and put your great ideas to work doing the most good!