More than 100 volunteers from Beaver Medical Group and NAMM California, part of Optum Care, recently joined San Bernardino-based Sahaba Initiative at San Bernardino High School to assemble and give away food boxes and hygiene kits to people in the community.
The team assembled more than 500 food boxes and hygiene kits that were distributed to support Sahaba Initiative’s work providing services to low-income families in the Inland Empire.
The goal of the April 30 event was to help address food insecurities in San Bernardino. The hygiene kits contained items to support everyday health including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and soap kits.
“Optum Care is committed to supporting healthy communities, and a critical part of that is improving health equity by addressing social determinants of health,” Howard Saner, vice president of health-care operations and growth and marketing for NAMM California, said in a news release. “That’s why we’ve partnered with Sahaba Initiative and other local organizations across SoCal that are committed to addressing these issues, because we’re invested in helping people in our communities get and stay healthy.”
Optum Care is a medical group in Southern California whose providers care for more than 2 million patients throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The event with Sahaba was part of Optum California’s Culture Week of volunteerism, during which 500 employees from its medical groups across Southern California partnered with eight local nonprofit organizations that are committed to improving health equity by addressing social determinants of health.
“Addressing food insecurity is important because if someone is worried about where their next meal is coming from, they may not be able to focus as much on managing their diabetes, taking their medicines, getting that overdue health screening or preventive care,” Renata Swanston, chairman of pediatrics at Beaver Medical Group, said in the news release. “Beaver Medical Group has been serving the community for over 75 years, and my colleagues and I are passionate about helping our communities be as healthy as possible.”
“Everyone at Sahaba is grateful to Optum for helping make this event possible,” Mohammed Kuko, founding secretary at Sahaba Initiative, said in the news release. “Together we were able to provide food and other resources to hundreds of people in the local area that will support better health among individuals and families across our community.”
For information about Sahaba Initiative and how to support its efforts, go to sahabainitiative.org.