Atrium Health and Amazon to Provide Food Boxes and Take-Home Hygiene Kits to Families Across the Charlotte Metro Region

12.19.2022 Atrium Health News

Groceries and everyday essentials being distributed at Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree event

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 19, 2022 – As part of Atrium Health’s annual Holiday Cheer event in support of its local communities, it is teaming up with Amazon to support the Salvation Army in distributing 5,000 hygiene kits and 2,700 food boxes to individuals and families across the region. The distributions are currently taking place for pre-registered and pre-qualified families at the Salvation Army Christmas Center while they pick up Angel Tree gifts for children in need this holiday season.

Through the distribution of 2,700 nutrition boxes by Atrium Health, an estimated 54,000 pounds of food will be supplied to the community, with each box containing approximately 20 pounds of non-perishable items, including whole wheat pasta and peanut butter. This is the 20th year that Atrium Health’s Holiday Cheer community giving and volunteer event has partnered with the Salvation Army to assist families in need.

“Being able to meet the basic needs for everyday life is an essential element for long-term health,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, executive vice president and chief innovation and commercialization officer for Charlotte-based Advocate Health, of which Atrium Health is part. “We’ve seen demonstrated evidence that access to nutritious food, for example, has positive health outcomes. As inflation continues to drive food prices higher, we hope to use this event as an opportunity to increase access to food, thereby reducing hunger in our community and improving overall health.”

As part of the 5,000 hygiene kits being distributed, Amazon will provide each family attending the event with a variety of products including a hairbrush, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, baby wipes and adjustable baby swaddles. Community members will receive coupons from Amazon that can be used when making future grocery purchases with EBT benefits on Amazon Fresh and will have the opportunity to learn more about how to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families will also be able to learn about Amazon Access, a one-stop-shop to explore programs, discounts and features that make shopping on Amazon easier and more affordable. Its featured programs include SNAP EBT payment options, Amazon Layaway, and Prime Access, a discounted Prime membership for eligible customers receiving EBT and select government benefits.

“At Amazon, we’re committed to making groceries and everyday essentials more accessible for all customers,” said Nancy Dalton, head of community partnerships for Amazon Access. “We are grateful to join forces with Atrium Health at a time when many people are struggling to afford basic necessities.”

In addition, Amazon donated transportation and logistics for 18 pallets of hygiene items. “Our goal is to help connect people who have something to give and make sure we get it to those who need it.” said Carolyn Donaldson, senior program manager for Amazon Community Operations. “It is a privilege to team up with Atrium Health to secure and deliver critical items for free as part of our outreach efforts to local communities and organizations in need.”

“The holiday season is about family and togetherness,” said Brent Rinehart, director of communications for the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. “We want that time to be special, hopefully without having to worry about basic needs being met. The addition of the food boxes and hygiene kits from Atrium Health and Amazon are tremendous additions to our Salvation Army Angel Tree distribution, serving some of our most vulnerable community residents.”  

"This effort serves as yet another example of how community-based partnerships are central to promoting health equity,” said Kinneil Coltman, executive vice president and chief community impact officer for Advocate Health. “We appreciate the work with the Salvation Army and Amazon to make this a successful event, as part of our overarching efforts to have a life-changing impact on underserved communities.”

In addition to this effort aimed at improving food security, Atrium Health is also working with Amazon, as well as Amazon Web Services (AWS), on a variety of other initiatives that aim to advance health equity and social impact, next-generation medical education and biomedical research, as well as clinician resilience and well-being.

“The innovative work we are undertaking together is rooted in the core fundamentals that drive our organizations – a collective obsession to put consumers, patients and communities at the center of everything we do,” said Shrestha.

“We are energized by a shared focus on social good and the benefits of joining forces with the health care industry,” said Allyson Fryhoff, managing director of nonprofit and healthcare at AWS. “We are inspired to work with Atrium Health to accelerate and scale the impact of its mission of health, hope and healing for all.”

About Atrium Health

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations. Atrium Health is part of Advocate Health, the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, which was created from the combination with Advocate Aurora Health. It provides care under the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region, as well as Atrium Health Navicentand Atrium Health Floyd in Georgia and Alabama. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest University School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked nationally among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties and for rehabilitation, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and its 2021 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, as well as the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing $2.46 billion last year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.