NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Medical Center is accepting boxed cereal donations through June 10th.
Similar collections are happening at Tenet Healthcare companies across the nation.
This one program and others set to launch next week will help East Texans who are struggling with food insecurity.
Nacogdoches Medical Center CEO Jeff Patterson pushed a basket full of dry cereal he bought for the Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive.
"I did happen to choose my favorites versus maybe some of the healthier options," Patterson said.
No matter. The goal is to make sure East Texas children start the day with a meal. Tenet views a child going hungry as a serious long-term public health issue
"And so having a stable diet and a healthy diet, as well as being active as a young person will most likely dictate what your health will be overall for the rest of your life," Patterson said.
On Monday, Davis Memorial Church launches its summer food program. Also on that day Nacogdoches ISD will begin its free summer breakfast and lunch program.
On Tuesday, the East Texas Food Bank, a partner in The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive, launches its summer feeding program. The corporate partnership benefits all the food bank programs, said its CEO Dennis Cullinane.
"Oh, it's huge," Cullinane said. "It really lends a lot of credibility and I think it brings to the public's eye how important food is and how concerned we citizens should be about hunger in our community."
The box of cereal makes a huge difference in a child's day and most possible life. It's even got Patterson rethinking his cereal selections.
"But if you could try the healthy options," Patterson said. "The Cheerios, the other things we know is going to be good for their health, that's preferable."
Cereal collection boxes can be found in the lobbies of Nacogdoches Medical Center and at The Surgery Center of Nacogdoches.
Monetary donations will be matched by Tenet up to $100,000.