South Florida Hospital News
Monday June 14, 2021

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June 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 12



November 19 2020 - For the seventh consecutive year, Holy Cross Health has awarded a grant to an innovative program to reduce food insecurity in South Florida.  
Holy Cross Health awarded a $10,000 John Johnson Food Security Grant to Broward College Foundation to provide healthy food to students through a mobile food distribution program during fall, spring and summer 2020-2021 and to begin establishing a choice pantry called Seahawk Marketplace at the Davie central campus.   
The Holy Cross Health food security grants are presented annually in honor of John C. Johnson, president emeritus and former chief executive officer of the non-profit hospital. 
“In what has been an unprecedented year, Broward College Foundation has created a program to ensure students have access to sufficient, healthy food,” said Sister Rita Levasseur, Holy Cross Health's vice president of mission integration. “We look forward to seeing how they expand the program.” 
As a result of the pandemic, 72% of Broward College students surveyed said that they are experiencing food and housing insecurities. Many of those students, 61%, also lost their jobs or had hours cut at work and 14% said they became homeless as a direct result of the pandemic. 
“Broward College is very grateful to have received the grant from Holy Cross. This grant will allow us first and foremost to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to our students. This is important because traditional non-perishable and food pantry items tend to be high in sodium and lower in vitamins and minerals typically found in fresh produce,” said Esmeralda Sweeney, Associate Vice President, Student Success, Broward College. “This grant came at the right time and when our students needed it most. This grant is also a demonstration of the great partnership the college has with Holy Cross, an organization that has been instrumental on the gains the college is making in addressing food insecurities among our students.” 
The mission of the Seahawk Marketplace is to eliminate hunger and hardship in the Broward College community by creating access to food and personal hygiene care items, providing guidance, leveraging community programs and offering educational programs on the value of nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. The project is in its first of two phases which provides immediate assistance to students currently experiencing food insecurities via weekly drive-through distributions, alternating between the Davie, Coconut Creek and Pembroke Pines campuses. This assistance is possible through a partnership with LifeNet4Families.  
“Special thanks to Everton Watkins who has been instrumental in getting the food items donated to us on a weekly basis,” added Sweeney. “In addition, we have been providing hygiene items through a collaboration with our SBSHS pathway, Nursing Pathway and donations from the college and community. We have served 633 students thus far.”  
Broward College Foundation also received a donation of $5,000 from Publix for the purchase of hygiene items to distribute to students. “We are thrilled to also have the contribution  from Publix,” Sweeney added. “Hygiene items will provide some immediate assistance for our many struggling students. We often have to decline students who request hygiene items because we can’t meet the demand, so this donation will help us serve our student population adequately, for one semester.”  
A member of Trinity Health, Fort Lauderdale-based Holy Cross Hospital, dba Holy Cross Health, is a full-service, non-profit, Catholic, teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. Holy Cross has been named one of the top 10 hospitals in the Miami metro area and among the top 30 in the state in U.S. News and World Report's 2020-2021 Best Hospital rankings. Through strategic collaborations and a commitment to being a person-centered, transforming, healing presence, the 557-bed hospital offers progressive inpatient, outpatient and community outreach services and clinical research trials to serve as our community’s trusted health partner for life. Holy Cross Health also encompasses Holy Cross HealthPlex outpatient facility, urgent care centers and more than 50 Holy Cross Medical Group physician practices. To learn more about Holy Cross Health, visit Connect @holycrossfl.  
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