DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Volunteers with several Dallas health and wellness, healthcare, and food companies came together this weekend to spread holiday cheer to people experiencing homelessness.
At about 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, Roots Food Group, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Gordon Food Service, Parkland Hospital, and Restaurant Depo partnered up to provide free healthcare services, warm meals and to-go food packages, clothing, and other resources to those in need.
Volunteers prepare to serve the homeless community at Cornerstone Baptist Church (Credit: Roots Food Group)
The event was held at the Cornerstone Baptist church.
Cedrick Stewart, the coordinator of the Third Saturday program at the Cornerstone Kitchen, said the goal was to help those in need feel loved during the holiday season by offering food, medical supplies, and other surprises to them.
Chris Simmons, pastor of the Cornerstone Church, said his church was “very appreciative of the volunteers who have come today to help us love many who are forgotten this time of year.”
Chris Simmons and Rob Jones (Credit: Roots Food Group)
Dr. Jaclyn Albin, MD and Nurse Traci Vike, RN both came to provide medical care for those in need and to try and help address some of the root causes of illness.
They stressed them importance of food when it comes to preventing sickness. “We really believe in providing care that helps people get to the root causes of why they’re sick in the first place, and food is a big part of that,” Dr. Albin said. “We’re providing medical care in conjunction with the food support Cornerstone delivers.”
Nurse Vike said she wasn’t sure exactly how many people had come through, but that the response had been significant. “We just kind of opened the doors, and we’ve already had quite a few people come though,” she said.
Some of the services provided included diabetic foot exams, mental health checks connecting people to free health resources and care, and blood pressure checks.
“Whenever you engage the community, you’re not there to deliver what you want to bring, you’re there to meet their needs,” Dr. Albin said.
Dr. Jaclyn Albin and Nurse Traci Vike (Credit: Roots Food Group)
One volunteer with Roots, Laura Kovacevich, said that today was her birthday. She was excited to be at the event giving to those in need and said that she “couldn’t imagine a better way to spend” her birthday.
Laura Kovacevich, Reece Jones, and Rob Jones (Credit: Roots Food Group)