Feeding people who don’t have enough money to buy food is certainly an important ministry, but helping these same people obtain health related services is equally beneficial.
Kay Ramsay, Director of the Food Cupboard ministry at Third Presbyterian Church, organized participation in a University of Rochester, grant-funded project, designed to link people to needed medical services and hopefully, thereby, reduce visits to emergency rooms for medical care.
During the month of April, Health Worker (CHW) Andrea Clarke and Intern Joshua Wilcox, from the Center for Community Health, staffed a health information table during our Food Cupboard’s hours of operation. Some visitors to area Food Cupboards – including Medicaid recipients, the homeless, the uninsured and the underinsured – fit the profile of people the Center for Community Health is trying to reach.
Andrea and Joshua conducted short, voluntary surveys to help determine what health-related resources each person needed, and then provided a link to those services. For example, if a person did not have a doctor, he or she was given a list of physicians who were accepting new patients. The information table was also filled with leaflets to help explain various medical services. At the bottom of each survey, participants were asked to write-in any other services they needed help with. With this information, Andrea and Joshua were able to refer them to agencies in the community that could provide help – like Action for a Better Community.
One interesting side note is that Andrea is a former RAIHN client who explained that she fell on hard times, but got right back up! She is a graduate of SUNY Brockport and volunteers in the community during her free time. Her daughter has completed her degree at SUNY Buffalo and has a career in banking. Andrea’s son attended construction school and works as a truck driver.
Andrea’s success illustrates how Outreach programs at Third Presbyterian Church have made a positive difference in people’s lives – and across generations.
If helping provide food for people in need is something that you would like to support, consider supporting Third Presbyterian Church food programs with you time, your talents, or a contribution. For more information on how to support these vital programs, contact Rev. Lynette Sparks (firstname.lastname@example.org) – – even a little can make a big difference!