The bakery items, which are placed on a small table in the entryway of the health center, are free for the taking for patients.
Zestos, a ministry based in Alton, delivers bread and buns to Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center on Mondays and Fridays. The bakery items are free for the taking for patients in the entryway.
By the end of the day, the items usually are gone.
“We’re so thankful to Zestos for partnering with Promise in this way,” said Derrick Vander Waal, public relations officer for Promise. “Promise strives to offer holistic care for our patients and to help them out in any way that we can, so this is just another small way that we can do that. Nutrition is an important aspect of health.”
In February, representatives from Promise were visiting Primary Health Care in Des Moines and noticed that it had a table full of bakery items available for its patients. The health center had found it to be an excellent way to serve its patients. And patients appreciated it.
“That got us thinking that we could do the same,” Vander Waal said.
Shortly thereafter, Eric Geels, the community outreach coordinator for Zestos, reached out to Promise to learn more about the services that Promise provides to underserved people in the area – the same type of people the Zestos ministry also reaches out to.
The nonprofit organization provides food, clothing and other necessities, as well as transitional housing, to people who need it throughout northwest Iowa, but Geels said that Zestos desires to bring an even more holistic approach to its ministry. Therefore, it was interested in partnering with other organizations in the area.
Patients can grab a loaf of bread or a dozen buns on the way out of the door at Promise Community Health Center, thanks to a partnership with the Zestos ministry.
As a result of the conversation, Zestos started delivering the bread and buns twice every week as one small way to partner with Promise. Zestos collects the bakery items – as well as other food items that otherwise might be thrown away – from various sources and distributes the food in a multitude of ways to people. Promise is one of the outlets.
Geels said Promise is “a great organization to partner with” on the project.
“Promise is doing great things for people in our community; they reach a similar population we are trying to reach,” he said. “We want to get food into the hands of people who need it, and we feel Promise is interacting with people who could use some of this food. It’s a pretty simple partnership for us, but if one family is coming away with a loaf or two of bread they need for the weekend, it’s totally worth it.”
He also views Promise as a valuable resource for Zestos.
“Some clients that we serve are uninsured or under-insured, and so having a connection to Promise is great for us so that we can get the medical attention these clients need at affordable costs,” Geels said.
Promise also admires Zestos.
“Zestos is doing great work in the community,” Vander Waal said. “The people involved in the ministry have a great passion for loving their neighbors in the community and caring for them in a compassionate way.”
Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video.