“Nobody should be hungry”

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BURTON, MICH. – It was business as usual for social worker Eraina Poole, LMSW at Hamilton’s Burton clinic. She has been gathering food, bagging it and giving it to Hamilton patients for quite some time now, on her off days. On this particular Monday, just over week before the Christmas holiday, the potatoes and turkeys went quickly.

“At least 25, 26 bags.” That’s the number of bags Tim Everett from Teachout Security Solutions believes Poole and he gathered that morning to give to patients.

Poole gets help along with her sisters and girlfriends to gather the food. She says the food is usually donated by food pantries and residents who receive more than enough food through their commodities, but Poole also picks some of the food at community gardens.

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“When I can give them fresh stuff, I like to be able to do that,” says Poole.

As a social worker at Hamilton’s Burton clinic, Poole says she sees patients who have a need for food.

“When I do my assessments,” explains Poole, “I know when they’re hungry.”

One of the questions that Poole says she asks her patients is ‘What did you eat today?’ She says she sometimes gets responses similar to, “I’ll think of something,” or “I’ll find something.”

“It’s really not a lot of work. It’s just being committed to doing it, and most people are very appreciative.”

Poole does not like to take a lot of credit for giving to the patients, but she does appreciate her operations manager Deborah Hardy for allowing her to provide the food.

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