The Light House and Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center: serving food insecure neighbors for over a decade

November 22, 2021


LHAAMC Environmental Services Supervisor, Franklin Rivera-Moreira (middle) and Environmental Services team members helping transport donations to The Light House for their 2021 Thanksgiving Box Drive.

For over ten years, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center (LHAAMC) has been partnering with The Light House to provide Thanksgiving boxes to food insecure neighbors in our community. This long-standing support remained stronger than ever during the Covid-19 crisis and resulted in record-breaking donations of food for the holiday season.

Throughout the year, The Light House food programs provide fresh meals and healthy perishable and nonperishable food items to thousands of individuals and families. Each fall, The Light House also distributes hundreds of Thanksgiving boxes to help ensure that neighbors struggling to make ends meet can prepare a special meal of their own during the season of giving. The Light House Thanksgiving Box Program relies entirely on donations of food from supporters, with a large portion of these boxes donated each year through LHAAMC’s Community Service Initiative.

Last year, due to the difficulties of the Covid-19 crisis, our staff at The Light House was concerned that the Thanksgiving Box Program might not be possible during 2020. “With so many joys being limited during the pandemic and so much hardship in our community, we really wanted to provide this special holiday program just as we always had,” stated Light House Executive Director, Jo Ann Mattson. “In the fall of last year, our staff at The Light House was incredibly touched by the enthusiasm from our friends at LHAAMC as they offered to partner with us once again, even despite being in the depths of the crisis. We all knew what a challenging year 2020 had been for their staff as well, so to have them reach out and say ‘Absolutely. Yes, we want to participate again,’ just really meant the world to us.”

LHAAMC collected these donations in full force again this year. November 11th concluded their 2021 Thanksgiving Box drive which yielded a record-breaking 172 boxes and $3,000 worth of gift cards for perishable items. These boxes will be distributed to the community Thanksgiving week during our Light House’s Open Market Pantry.

Volunteer and LHAAMC Staff

Light House Volunteer and LHAAMC staff helping transport donations to The Light House for their 2021 Thanksgiving Box Drive.

“Each year, our Thanksgiving Drive is a phenomenal event,” stated Clinical Director, General Surgical Unit and Joint and Spine Unit, Eve Sage. “We have such incredible gratitude for what The Light House does for those who are underserved in our community. We are grateful that they distribute the donations equitably and we have grown to deeply value this partnership. The entire Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center organization participates, including well over 60-70 different departments. Our Community Service Initiative doesn’t leave anyone out and we all really look forward to it each year.”’

LHAAMC’s Community Services Initiative also participates in several other donation drives for The Light House throughout the year, including an annual sock drive, adult hygiene drive, and preparing lunches every other month. Food insecurity and the demand for Light House services have increased dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, making this participation even more meaningful. In fact, since this crisis began, we have been serving 40% more individuals and families overall, and the number of households served through our pantry programs alone has increased by more than 200%. The generosity from supporters and partnerships is what enables The Light House to continue to serve vulnerable individuals and families during one of the most difficult times in our community’s history.

LHAAMC Staff and Light House Staff

(L-R) Michele Mendez, Pediatric PCT II, Eve Sage, Clinical Director General Surgical Unit and Joint and Spine Unit, Christine Gates, Pediatric Nurse Navigator, and Sarah Ryan, Light House Associate Director of Community Engagement.

If you would like to get involved and learn more about donating much needed food and supplies visit our Needs Page.