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CMH celebrates 5 years leading Christmas Food Baskets program

Hospital news | Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Contact: Sarah Bello

Hospital grateful for the community’s help to provide food for those in need during the holidays

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s an exciting time. But for some families, the season can be filled with worry if there's not enough to go around.

2022 marks the fifth year that Columbia Memorial Hospital has led the community Christmas Baskets program for Astoria and Knappa, providing holiday food boxes for those in need.

The Christmas Baskets program took a break in 2017 when a group of dedicated volunteers stepped away from the project following many years of work. In 2018, with a goal of increasing volunteer efforts supporting the community, CMH took the lead. The hospital has since given financial support, in addition to the assistance of employee volunteers, who are always eager to help collect, donate or sort food prior to Christmas.

In November, hospital departments competed to bring the most items for the Christmas Baskets food drive. More than 8,000 items, equaling over 5,000 pounds of food, were donated. Other local businesses and organizations, including the Astoria Fire Department, area schools, Astoria Rotary, and local military service members, also donated time and pantry staples to support the program.

This year, Alliah Wilson, CMH Patient Experience coordinator, took on the project after several years of work by Megan Hutchinson.

“Alliah, Megan, Kristen Moss (Patient Experience manager), and the many employee volunteers did a fantastic job,” says Nicole Williams, COO. “With the help of many, CMH provided 140 families with several days' worth of food for the holidays this year. In addition, many boxes of food went to Knappa and Astoria High Schools, Astoria Middle School, and Warrenton Grade School for their backpack and food programs.

“Thanks to everyone for their efforts – we could not be a part of this community program without your help!”