Mercy and Memorial Hospitals announced Monday they will once again partner with Sonder and CityServe to distribute another 11,000 meals over 10 days to vulnerable populations throughout the area.

Beginning Wednesday, Bakersfield Homeless Center, St. Vincent de Paul, The Mission of Kern County and various churches in underserved and rural areas will receive more than 1,000 meals a day for distribution through May 31, according to a news release.

The partnership is made possible through a $75,000 donation from Dignity Health.

Last month, Dignity Health Bakersfield announced its partnership with Operation BBQ Relief and Sonder Restaurant to provide 35,000 meals over a two-week period to the homeless and those experiencing food insecurity in Kern County due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“CityServe feels extremely blessed to be part of this outreach into our community,” said Robin Robinson, who is responsible for community development and church engagement for CityServe in Kern County, in a news release. “To be part of feeding Kern County and to be able to see food go into areas where food insecurity is so large during this time of pandemic. This project is a blessing to our community.”

“Health comes first beyond the walls of the hospital as our outreach programs fundamentally alter the healthcare dynamics for high-risk, underserved populations by providing basic needs services, including food, directly to residents in need in our community,” adds Donna Winkley, regional director for the hospitals’ special needs and community outreach department. “We are committed to building healthier communities. By partnering with CityServe and collaborating with The Mission at Kern County, Bakersfield Homeless Center and St. Vincent de Paul, we will be able to supply nutritious food, which is a high priority.”

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