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YNHHS employees, physicians, make first virtual food drive a huge success 

Thank you to the hundreds of Yale New Haven Health employees and medical staff members who donated 22,550 pounds of food to hunger-relief organizations during the health system’s first #GiveHealthy virtual food drive.

The donated food translates into 18,792 meals for people in need throughout Connecticut and in Westerly, RI. Yale New Haven Hospital donors gave 8,192 pounds of food – 6,827 meals – to 11 Greater New Haven hunger-relief organizations. 

YNHHS initiated the virtual food drive because COVID-19 made in-person food drives challenging. At the same time, the pandemic’s economic impact made it even harder for more people to afford enough food to feed themselves and their families.

The drive, which ran from Dec. 14 - Feb. 14, was conducted through #GiveHealthy, an organization that provides an online platform for hunger-relief organizations to set up “registries” listing items they need. 

Donors throughout the health system could choose the items they wished to purchase for organizations in a particular hospital community where they live or work. Because the food shipped from suppliers directly to hunger-relief organizations, donors could purchase fresh produce.

“Everyone wants fresh produce to balance out their meals, but the cost has become prohibitive for the working poor. We are trying to meet that need, and the #GiveHealthy program makes the task much easier," the New Haven Inner City Enrichment (NICE) Center said in a statement.

YNHHS’ drive was developed and organized through a systemwide collaboration among Community Health Improvement, Community and Government Relations, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Human Resources, Marketing and Communications and Food and Nutrition.

“It was heartwarming to see that even when battling COVID every day in our hospitals, employees and medical staff members took the time to participate in the food drive,” said Nancy Hamson, system director, Community Health Improvement. “Yale New Haven Health made a difference in combatting hunger in our communities.”