AdventHealth is supporting hospital team efforts to fight food insecurity in Mansfield.
Published on: 01-18-2024
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of compassion and service, which people in the U.S. remembered on January 15, AdventHealth is spotlighting Texas Health Hospital Mansfield team members who are addressing food insecurity in underserved communities through the facility’s Mobile Market 2 Go Program.
Desmond Haye’s passion for community service was inspired by Mahalia Jackson’s song, “If I Can Help Somebody.” Growing up in Jamaica, Haye often heard his mother hum the tune around the house, but it wasn’t until later that he realized its impact. The lyrics, “If I can help somebody as I travel along, then my living will not be in vain,” became his personal anthem.
“As a community, we would roast a popular fruit in Jamaica called breadfruit and eat it together,” Haye said. “The children next door knew they could come over anytime.”
After relocating to the U.S., Haye remained true to his family’s traditions and values, eventually stepping into his role as director of pastoral care and volunteer services at Texas Health Hospital Mansfield, a joint venture between AdventHealth and Texas Health Resources in Mansfield.
Haye led his facility’s community health needs assessment, which identified food insecurity as a local concern, and helped develop a community health plan. The Mobile Market 2 Go Program was launched to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care to underserved children and families in Mansfield who struggle to find food items, especially during summer breaks.
During these weekly interventions, about 30 team members from Texas Health Hospital Mansfield and local partners like Mansfield Mission Center (MMC) and the Mansfield Seventh-day Adventist Church volunteer to pack and deliver groceries, including fresh produce, to more than 250 families for free. The team also provides free health screenings to promote active lifestyles.
“Thanks to the support of dedicated volunteers and MMC staff, we have touching stories of people in our communities, including a mother who expressed gratitude for receiving groceries and a cooked meal, and a man who took crucial steps to seek diabetic care,” Laura Rennert, director of community programs at MMC, said. “These illustrate the impactful outcomes of our partnership.”
Volunteering in the community is a way that team members bring wholeness to the community, Kenneth Rose, president and CEO of Texas Health Hospital Mansfield, said.*
Brittinee Payne, a cardiac sonographer for Texas Health Hospital Mansfield, shared how her 13-year-old son deepened his understanding of kindness by volunteering to pack bags of food items. “Serving alongside my son as he interacted with others was special,” she said.
The Mobile Market 2 Go Program, now in its second year, is helping to promote healthy living and provide educational resources to underserved communities.
“Caring for others not only benefits them but also helps me to become a better person by adding meaning to life,” Haye said.