Beaumont Children’s has received a $150,000 grant from Rite Aid Healthy Futures to help expand equitable care and improve health outcomes for children in underserved and at-risk neighborhoods.
Funding comes through the charity’s Connecting Communities signature initiative and is part of an overall investment of $3 million in more than 30 children’s hospitals serving Rite Aid communities.
Connecting Communities’ goal is to help large institutions like children’s hospitals work in new and deeper ways with surrounding neighborhoods, ultimately connecting people and places with the resources needed to advance health and racial justice.
The initial funding will support a wide range of hospitals and their community-based programs in 15 states. The funded programs focus on screening for food insecurity, food distribution and nutrition education, and aim to address fundamental barriers that prevent communities from achieving health and well-being.
With the support of this grant, Beaumont Health will provide school pantries in 11 schools in southeastern Michigan in the Wayne-Westland, Taylor and Romulus districts. Because children spend a majority of their time in school, school pantries are an effective way to meet the needs of children and their families while promoting nutrition and well-being through education and support services.
“We cannot expect our children to do well in school if they are food insecure, struggle with mental health issues, or other things that hinder or hinder their learning,” says Dr. John Dignan, Wayne-Westland School District Superintendent. “We must consciously try to break down any obstacles that stand in the way of our children and their learning. Education is the key to opening doors and all children must have access to it.”
According to Charlotte Alex, director of Children’s Miracle Network, Beaumont Children’s, “For nearly 25 years, Rite Aid has donated more than $5 million to Beaumont Children’s Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. This generous grant from Rite Aid Healthy Futures demonstrates Rite Aid’s commitment to children’s health and changing the future of Southeast Michigan. On behalf of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Beaumont Health Foundation, we are extremely grateful to Rite Aid Healthy Futures for investing in Metro Detroit’s youth through the Healthy School Pantry Program.
Beaumont’s unique approach to providing school-based food supplies focuses on the whole child and goes beyond access to food to include basic needs and comprehensive services for youth and families. School supplies offer non-perishable snacks that students can take with them throughout the day, backpack items that students can take home to prepare, and basic hygiene items
both perishable and non-perishable goods. School staff are trained on the Beaumont Community Resource Network (BCRN) to further connect families with additional services such as housing, employment, education and transportation.
The grants are funded through Rite Aid’s KidCents fundraising program. Generous Rite Aid customers can round up their online or in-store purchases to support children’s health and well-being. Healthy Futures reinvests funds into Rite Aid communities through programs such as Connecting Communities.
“Expanding equitable care doesn’t start in the emergency room. It starts in our neighborhood,” said Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “While the needs are great, so are the opportunities for advancement. Children’s hospitals already play a critical role in providing vital medical care, and many of these facilities have developed powerful programs to serve children, families and communities in ways that go beyond traditional medical care. Working together, we can make sure everyone has what they need to live longer, healthier lives.”
For more information about Beaumont Children’s, visit www.beaumont.org/childrens or call 855-480-KIDS (5437).
To learn more about Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, visit CMNHospitals.org.