The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Siouxland provides a place for families to stay while their child is receiving medical treatment in the area. We also provide daily sack lunches through our Ronald McDonald Kitchen & Lunch Program. Each year, hundreds of families stay in the rooms at the Ronald McDonald House and thousands of lunches are prepared by volunteers and delivered to the Ronald McDonald Kitchens for families to enjoy just steps away from their child's hospital room. RMHC of Siouxland partners with Sioux City's two major hospitals, along with several other medical agencies to provide the resources and comfort the families of their patients need. We believe family is an important part of the recovery process for any child.
The Ronald McDonald Family Kitchen & Lunch Programs provide food to help sustain family members who spend countless hours in the hospital with their sick child. The kitchens are located in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's and MercyOne Siouxland. Families are able to access snacks, beverages and heat and eat meals 24 hours a day at the Ronald McDonald Kitchens. Sack lunches are delivered daily to provide a nutritious and no-cost meal to every family member staying with the child. The family members often spend 12 hours or more with the child every day. Leaving to find food is not always possible, given the child's age or diagnosis. Also, the cost of purchasing those meals can add up. Ronald McDonald House Charities believes in family-centered care, and providing resources for families so they can stay close to their child during the healing process. In the first 6 months of 2019, RMHC of Siouxland delivered over 1,600 lunches for families at the hospital, and provided over 2,800 pounds of food to the Ronald McDonald Kitchens. With the money raised through Big Give Siouxland in 2018, we were able to provide lunches for 7 weeks. This year, we are hoping to raise enough to provide meals & snacks for families for 16 weeks.
The RMHC Family Lunch Program began in March of 2018. We deliver sack lunches to every member of the family staying with a child in Sioux City's hospitals. The brown bags are decorated by local children, and are packed with a variety of lunch selections by volunteers. The majority of the food for the program is purchased. The menu the families can enjoy rotates between sandwiches, wraps, salads, and hot selections. The lunches also include fruit, vegetables, chips and a treat in the bags. For many of the families who receive the sacks, it may be their only food for the day. Often times, parents don't feel comfortable leaving the hospital floor and, therefore, are left scrounging snacks to get them through the day. Other times, children are admitted late at night, when mom or dad may not have had a chance to eat supper. The extra lunches kept in the RMHC Family Kitchens provide sustenance at those odd hours when food is not available. One other benefit, it's a no cost lunch for the families. They are already facing mounting medical bills, and the free lunches takes one more burden off their shoulders and their wallet. Funding support for this program would help ensure we can continue to provide quality, healthy and no cost lunches to hundreds of families who find themselves in the hospital with a child in 2019.
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