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November 18, 2023/Community Impact

Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Deliver Thanksgiving Meals to Neighbors in Need

More than 3,700 Northeast Ohio families supported through various events

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Alana Wyche | 216.346.0363

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Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and community partners provided Thanksgiving meals for more than 3,700 families.

The holidays are a difficult time for many families. For those facing economic hardship, the burden of food insecurity makes this season especially stressful.

In the spirit of giving and unity, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals have joined other community partners to fill that void. Through events at multiple sites, more than 3,700 families received nourishing Thanksgiving dinners. By providing these meals, hundreds of families can concentrate on celebrating the holiday together instead of worrying about what to eat.

“The collaborative partnership between Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals has made a positive impact in our community, including most recently through combatting the opioid epidemic and supporting economic opportunity through a joint program to mentor and coach minority-owned small businesses,” said Monica Yepes-Rios, M.D., medical director of Community Healthy Equity at Cleveland Clinic. “This joint Thanksgiving food distribution is just another example of how our two organizations can improve the health and lives of people in Northeast Ohio by working together.”

Cleveland Clinic, Coca-Cola, Meijer and Morrison Healthcare came together to donate meals to neighbors in Akron, East Cleveland and communities in Fairfax, Glenville, Hough and Ohio City. Each turkey dinner included mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, a roll and apple pie.

Volunteers prepared and distributed meals in partnership with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, East Mount Zion Baptist Church, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, Famicos Foundation, The City Mission, YMCA of Greater Cleveland and Y-Haven

“When we have an opportunity to give back to our neighbors, we answer the call,” said Dr. Yepes-Rios. “Addressing food insecurity in the communities we serve remains a top priority. We are grateful for the continued support of our community partners to provide Thanksgiving meals to families in need.”



University Hospitals’ caregiver volunteers distributed food to families at multiple sites, including the UH Community Wellness Center in Glenville.

“Through a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, UH’s Community Wellness Centers offer support resources and education to underserved communities adversely impacted by diseases, health disparities, and socioeconomic barriers to optimal health,” said Celina Cunanan, Chief Diversity, Equity & Belonging Officer at UH. “UH is dedicated to bringing resources into the communities we serve, and we know that our neighbors in need will have a Thanksgiving meal to eat together because of these efforts.”

Residents in the Glenville and Bedford communities received food items at the UH Glenville Wellness Center and Mt. Zion Oakwood Village Church. In collaboration with Rid-All Green Partnership, an urban farm in Cleveland dedicated to growing food, creating jobs, and building healthy, green neighborhoods, UH provided fresh produce including collard greens, yams, and peppers. Giant Eagle donated non-perishable food items. Each family also received a $20 gift card to Giant Eagle. In Richmond Heights, UH provided turkeys to residents by partnering with the city during its monthly drive-through food pantry.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Cleveland Clinic: Alana Wyche, 216.346.0363, wychea@ccf.org  University Hospitals: Carly Belsterling, 412.889.8866, carly.belsterling@UHhospitals.com  

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org. 

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 21 hospitals (including five joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and National Taiwan University College of Medicine. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.

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