This Year's Project: Keeping Families Fed
About Our Organization
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.
Current Project: Keeping Families Fed
We know the importance of a good lunch, and how a meal from the heart can put a smile on your face even in the toughest of times. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we realized just how important the Ronald McDonald Family Lunch Program is to parents with sick children. To keep everyone safe, hospitals had to restrict access to their cafeteria and common areas, as well as restrict visitors at the hospital. Parents could still be by their child's bedside, but food accessibility was limited. We saw the need and stepped our Family Lunch Program to help. We continued to deliver daily lunches for families staying with their children in the hospital. In fact, we beefed up those lunches to make sure they were hearty and had an extra snack for later in the day. In addition, we started providing Breakfast Bags to help those moms and dads get the day started on the right foot, too. We can't take the pain away of having a sick child, but we can make the day a little easier and provide comfort through a good meal.
We are hoping you will join us in helping feed families with meals from the heart for the rest of 2020. The cost per lunch sack is $3, and a breakfast bag is about $1.50. Can you help us raise $5,000 to fund these programs through the rest of 2020? We know the impact this program is having on families. Recently, one of them sent us a note saying "I just wanted to say how amazing this program is and how grateful we are to have had this as an option for meals, especially when we didn't want to leave our baby just to get a meal."
Thank you for Keeping Families Close© and for helping provide a little comfort at the toughest of times for RMHC of Siouxland families!
Ronald McDonald Family Kitchen & Lunch Program
The Ronald McDonald Family Kitchen & Lunch Programs are growing by leaps and bounds! Since it began in March 2018, the RMHC Family Lunch Program has delivered over 3,000 lunches to family members staying with their children at the hospital. RMHC volunteers are currently packing around 300 lunches each month for moms, dads, siblings and grandparents staying with a child while they receive medical treatment at the local hospital. Those lunches are delivered to the Ronald McDonald Kitchens at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Units at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's, as well as several other hospital departments. As this program grows, we have struggled to find space to store food in our refrigerators. Our oven is also aging and needs to be replaced so we can cook and bake the food more evenly. With this year’s Big Give Siouxland donations, we will replace our kitchen appliances, helping grow the RMHC Lunch Program even more.
In 2018, through the Big Give Siouxland, donors helped RMHC provide lunches to families with hospitalized children for 7 weeks. Since then the number of lunches each week has grown, and we’ve also gone from 3 days a week to 4 days a week providing lunches. We would like to add a 5th day and more departments at the hospital.
Snacks and heat and eat meals are also provided to the Ronald McDonald Kitchen at MercyOne Siouxland. Families are able to access snacks, beverages and heat and eat meals 24 hours a day at the Ronald McDonald Kitchens. 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 8 months of 2019, RMHC of Siouxland delivered over 2,300 lunches for families at the hospital, and provided over 3,800 pounds of food to the Ronald McDonald Kitchens.
Thank you for helping grow the RMHC Lunch Program and providing nutrious meals to families so they can help their child through the recovery process. We believe it’s all about #KeepingFamiliesClose.
RMHC Family Lunch Program
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.