Tillamook Doctors Donate to Local Food Bank

March 12, 2015 | Mary Faith Bell

In a living expression of the Adventist Health mission to share God’s love by providing physical, mental and spiritual healing, Tillamook Regional Medical Center (TRMC) health care providers and governing board of directors donated 3,210 pounds of citrus fruit to Oregon Food Bank Tillamook County Services. Providers and board members elected to forgo the Christmas gifts they would have received from the hospital and used those funds to purchase fresh fruit for the food bank in the spirit of love and concern for the communities they serve.

This is the third year in a row that TRMC medical staff and board members have requested that their Christmas gifts be used to purchase food for the community. TRMC serves a rural area along the Oregon coast. The poverty rates are high in the region, and food insecurity is a serious issue. More than half of the children in Tillamook County are considered low-income and qualify for free and reduced lunches; in some parts of the county, those numbers are higher. Many local families use the food bank as a way to supplement their monthly food budget.

“The medical staff is happy to be able to give back to the community in this way,” says Mark Bowman, TRMC chief medical officer. “Part of the Adventist Health heritage is to support healing through healthy living, including a diet rich in nutritious fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that the diets of low income children and adults are often lacking adequate fresh fruits and vegetables. It makes us feel great to think about members of our community eating vitamin-rich citrus fruits in the winter.”

Melissa Carlson-Swanson, Oregon Food Bank Tillamook County Services director, says, “We are so grateful to be able to offer fresh fruit to the community. Citrus fruits are rarely available at the food bank, and they are in season right now and delicious. This is a wonderful gift of healthy food, and we are glad to be able to share it with those in need.”