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MetroHealth announces $1 million donation to Greater Cleveland Food Bank

MetroHealth's announcement that it has committed over $1 million to GCFB over the next five years comes as the food bank contends with soaring food prices

CLEVELAND — Cleveland's MetroHealth hospital system has announced a $1 million dollar donation to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, which it says will provide over a million meals to the community over the next five years. 

The donation will be broken up over the next five years and will provide meals to its patients and other low-income community members, continuing an ongoing partnership between the two organizations to address social factors that can contribute to health problems.

“The lack of access to nutritious food is a major barrier to good health for our patients and neighbors, particularly those who live in food deserts,” said Akram Boutros, president and CEO of MetroHealth. “This support will allow us to augment the invaluable services the Food Bank already provides and make an important difference in the lives of thousands of our neighbors who need our support.”

The financial commitment also comes at a time when soaring inflation has contributed to a dramatic rise in operating costs for the food bank. 

Jess Morgan, chief programs officer for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, told 3News' Isabel Lawrence this month that certain foods are becoming more and more expensive to source for its recipients. For example, Thanksgiving turkeys, which MetroHealth says it has helped distribute, have jumped in price by 25 cents from last year, costing the food bank an additional $130,000 this year. 

MetroHealth has undergone a number of initiatives with the food bank, including a mobile health clinic stationed at the Food Bank's Euclid Neighborhood Pantry every week offering a variety of health services such as treatments and COVID-19 vaccinations. 

“We are so grateful to MetroHealth for this incredible gift and for our ongoing partnership helping to provide low-income patients with the healthy food they need.” said Kristin Warzocha, the food bank's president and CEO. 

"We cannot thank Metro enough for its amazing generosity and their commitment to addressing food insecurity," Warzocha said. "Through this gift, we will be able to provide patients of MetroHealth and members of our shared community with nutritious foods and access to other food resources, helping our community members to thrive.”

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