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St. Elizabeth Healthcare, GO Pantry partner to feed hungry kids

Edgewood, KY – St. Elizabeth Healthcare partnered with local nonprofit GO Pantry in May to collect basic food items to help children in Northern Kentucky stave off hunger this summer. St. Elizabeth collected 937 boxes of food – up more than 72 percent compared to 2016 – and purchased 175 additional boxes with cash donations for a total of 1,112 boxes for local families.

“St. Elizabeth shares a passion with GO Pantry to lead Northern Kentucky to be one of the healthiest communities in the country,” said Dr. Robert Prichard, CEO of St. Elizabeth Physicians. “That starts with ensuring our children don’t go hungry.”

GO Pantry, a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers, provides food to Boone County children who do not have enough to eat at home. Food drives are the organization’s primary source to feed children on weekends during the school year and during school breaks, including summer vacation. 

“During the school year, many kids get their only meals at school through free and reduced meal programs,” said Laura Dumancic, a Union mother of three and director of GO Pantry. “That’s a reliable source of healthy, filling food for many kids. When you take that away during summer break, many kids go hungry.”

GO Pantry’s GO BOXES program delivers food once a week during school breaks and the summer to families of students who are referred to the program by the family resource officer or guidance counselor at their school. The boxes contain a minimum of five breakfasts, five lunches and two dinners for each identified student. 

Dr. Chanti Flanagan, a hospitalist at St. Elizabeth Edgewood, is Dumancic’s neighbor and introduced GO Pantry to St. Elizabeth associates to help support the GO BOXES program.

“I knew a partnership with GO Pantry was a perfect match from the beginning,” said Flanagan. “We made a huge difference with our contributions in 2016 and achieved even more this year by expanding our efforts to the hospitals. I’m so proud of my colleagues for giving back.”

Dumancic said it costs about $300 to feed one student for the 6 weeks during summer break. 

“Partners like St. Elizabeth help us give kids the basic need of food during the summer,” said Dumancic. “Hunger is a bigger problem in our community than you might think, so support is crucial.”  

GO Pantry hopes to deliver 1,500 boxes to families this summer.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating, visit http://gopantry.org/donate or call (859) 760-6480. The group also accepts food items at locations throughout the community.