Pictured, Jennifer Barbour, Relations Director and Bobbi Jo Tite, Tilden Food Pantry

Sparta Community Hospital recently held a community food drive to support local pantries to help provide relief to those in our community struggling with food insecurity during this pandemic.

“As rural healthcare providers, much of what Sparta Community Hospital does is about ensuring that the community receives the right care, at the right time,” states Joann Emge, CEO of Sparta Community Hospital.  “Right now our community needs food.”

Volunteers from Sparta Community Hospital, sorted, sanitized and packaged 50 cases of food that was distributed to pantries at Westminster Presbyterian Church and Western Egyptian in Sparta, Peace Lutheran Church in Steeleville, Grandcote Reformed Presbyterian Church in Coulterville, Tilden Food Pantry and Marissa Food Pantry.

“With the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, our community members are struggling with both their mental and financial health due to school closures, job disruptions, lack of paid sick leave, lost wages, and sudden expenses due to illness,” remarks Emge. “This has become increasingly burdensome, especially to those who are already living paycheck to paycheck.”

Collection tubs were placed at Steeleville Marketplace and the Dollar General Stores in Marissa, Sparta and Steeleville.  Additionally, food was collected from Hospital employees, members at Bethel Reformed Presbyterian Church, employees at First National Bank of Steeleville, and employees at Howell Financial.