Minnesota Hospital Association


January 23, 2018

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center supports hunger relief in its community and beyond

When the final school bells ring and summer break begins, nearly half the 1,025 youth in Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s (CRMC) service area are at risk of going hungry. Forty-five percent of these students receive free or reduced-cost meals through the National School Lunch Program, but none of these kids receive meals through the summer months.   

As part of CRMC’s commitment to keeping kids healthy, the hospital in 2015 partnered with area churches to provide nutritious meals to kids and teens throughout the summer and continued its commitment by also providing basic needs to students over holiday breaks and healthy, free food during community events.   

More than half of the children in the area live in households that are unable to consistently access enough nutrition for a healthy life and struggle to put food on the table. Poverty is the reason; in Crosby, the per capita income is $15,465 and the median household income is $29,906.   

Lunch Bunch is an annual event that has grown each year. A total of 3,820 meals were provided in 2015; 4,650 in 2016; and 4,800 in 2017. The majority of youth in the area’s total population of 3,400 residents were served. Each Wednesday, two different CRMC volunteers prepare and distribute the meals planned by a registered dietitian.   

CRMC also provides hot soup and bread to 1,100 people at Crosby’s Christmas in the Park event in December and a nutritious light meal to another 800 people at the community’s Music in the Park celebration in June. About 30 staff volunteer for each of the events.   

In September, 32 CRMC volunteers prepared 9,072 meals at Kids Against Hunger in Nisswa to send to those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and donated $2,500 towards the food cost. In May, two CRMC staff collected $253 of food at the Baxter Cub Food Grocery Grab, which was delivered to the Cuyuna Food Shelf in Crosby.    

CRMC supports these initiatives with an annual investment of approximately $20,000.