Over the last several years, Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital (MERMH) has been working to strengthen its relationships with the Vilas County Food Pantry, including serving dinners to its clients and placing food donation containers in the hospital lobby.
Alicia Evensen, manager, MERMH lab, felt she and her department could be of greater service to the pantry clients. She took it upon herself to set up a series of fundraisers to provide monetary gifts, food gifts and services to the pantry, including a collaborative effort with local grocers to set up a fresh fruit program. While working to raise the money, lab staff took the initiative to order truckloads of produce that provided over 160 families with apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes.
Along with providing funding, Alicia and her staff take turns organizing and working at the pantry to distribute the fruit to the clients and offering a friendly smile and hello. Alicia also takes her young daughter to the pantry, allowing her to learn valuable life lessons, as she delights the staff and clientele with her friendly and outgoing attitude.
Alicia and her staff have also started providing free screenings at the pantry, including non-fasting cholesterol and glucose. Alicia's commitment and passion for this cause have inspired other hospital employees to offer blood pressure tests, nutrition services, and wellness information.
The MERMH lab staff, under the leadership of Alicia, has truly made a difference in the lives of the many families who are in need and find help in these challenging economic times at the Vilas County Food Pantry. By working together as a team, this staff has not only offered a helping hand to those in need, it has inspired other employees to live the mission of Ministry Health Care.