MINNEAPOLIS — Cleaning crews, cooks, drivers, administrative assistants, security guards, facility staff, and hospital/clinic volunteers are the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry. Health care support staff are putting in long hours to make sure the doctors, nurses, physician assistants and EMTs treating patients can do so effectively and efficiently.
They deserve a little love, too. Phase 2 of Health Fair 11’s ‘You matter. Snack Box’ campaign reaches out to behind-the-scenes healthcare workers. During the first week of May, Health Fair 11 is sending 2,500 healthy snacks to workers at Hennepin Medical Center in Minneapolis and Carris Health in Willmar. Snacks include whole grain crackers, Pazazz apples, peanut-free Wow butter, and single-serving packages of apple sauce. In times of uncertainty, the snack boxes provide the physical and emotional lift needed to help healthcare workers get through their long shifts.
Carris Health is an innovative health care system committed to reinventing health care in West Central and Southwest Minnesota. Carris Health serves rural communities and address the health care needs of people at all stages of life. Carris Health was formed in 2018 as a partnership between Willmar’s Rice Memorial Hospital, ACMC Health and St. Cloud-based CentraCare Health. In January 2019, Redwood Area Hospital in Redwood Falls, Minn. and Family Practice Medical Center in Willmar, Minn. joined Carris Health.
Hennepin Medical Center is a level 1 trauma center providing care to the people from across the metro and MN.
Phase one of the ‘You matter.’ project distributed 1,500 snack packs and 1,500 Pazazz apples to four organizations: Twin Cities Mobile Market, Mary’s Place, Higher Ground, and People Serving People. Each organization provides basic food and shelter to people who were living on the margins of the economy even before the pandemic hit.
The ‘You matter. Snack Box’ campaign is a collaborative effort coordinated by Health Fair 11. This non-profit organization is dedicated to improving community health. Health Fair 11 is adapting its traditional outreach programs to respond to the community needs created by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Health Fair 11’s sponsors are UCare and KARE11 TV. UCare is an independent, non-profit health plan company that partners with community organizations across Minnesota. KARE 11, a national award-winning leader in local news and information, serves the Twin Cities area as well as greater Minnesota and western Wisconsin on television, online and on mobile platforms.
Each ‘You matter. Snack Box’ is prepared following sanitary protocols established by MATTER at their headquarters in St. Louis Park. MATTER is a global non-profit with a mission to move people forward by eliminating barriers to a healthier life. Each snack box contains a serving of grains, fruit, and protein (peanut-free.) The packs also include a handwritten ‘You Matter’ note as well as an activity card.
Healthcare support staff also receive a Pazazz apple courtesy of Honeybear Brands orchards, a family-owned Minnesota business that promises premium products, integrity, knowledge and service.