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Concerned Residents Hold Food Drive to Help Patients During Government Shutdown

February 15, 2019

On February 15 2019 more than 750 lbs. of food was delivered to The Gray House, a neighborhood social service agency in the north end of Springfield—the result of a food drive held by medical residents at Baystate Medical Center and Baystate Children’s Hospital.

Teresa Liberti, executive director of The Gray House, noted that the donation of food “could not have come at a better time.”

When the federal government shutdown threatened to cause a food security crisis for their patients, residents in the internal medicine, pediatrics and medicine-pediatrics residency programs began a friendly competition to see which team could collect the most food.

“We have an amazing group of residents at Baystate Medical Center who serve the local patient population in the greater Springfield area on many levels. When they heard the crisis facing their patients, [they] took the matter to heart," says Kathryn Jobbins, MD, associate program director, Internal Medicine Residency Program.

“We've seen an increase in need over the last couple of months due to the uncertainty around SNAP benefits. People were really concerned about whether or not they would have food to put on the table," says Liberti. "Many of them had never had to turn to a food pantry before, so we found ourselves welcoming many new faces and walking them through the process so that they could feel comfortable and get the food they needed.”

The pediatric residents' team won the challenge—collecting 500 lbs. of the food delivered.