Mission of Mercy serves growing number of healthcare patients, families in need of food

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is busy Monday as a crowd of volunteers prepared to distribute countless bags of fruits and vegetables.

Among them is Rosaio Campos. She’s geared with a mask, face shield, and clipboard. With that, she’s ready. 

“I can’t wait for the day that is the day for me to come and help,” Campos said. 

Campos has been a volunteer in the community for nine years and serves several non-profits. She has seen firsthand how the coronavirus pandemic has shaken low-income families.

“Some of the families has been lost their job, so they need to have more help,” she explained. 

Her role in the day’s distribution is to speak with clients as they drive up to the set-up of tables behind the church, and talk about their family size and just how much food they’ll need. She brings a vital qualification to the role as a Spanish translator. 

“We are trying to reach all communities, minority communities,” Campos explained. “Our Latino communities are in a lot of need, so we are here to help once a month. We provide some groceries and it’s open for everybody.”

In addition to providing food, the organization has also been on the frontlines of providing healthcare. Mission of Mercy operates two mobile clinics for medical and dental visits. 

Precautions like hospital-grade air purifiers, patient temperature checks, and a constant rotation of PPE and disinfection has kept the clinics in service to a growing list of patients.

“We are getting calls from people who are saying their normal dentist may not see them because now they don’t have insurance and they don’t have money to pay for it,” explained Mission of Mercy Director Linda Ryan. “So yes, we are getting patients, a lot more patients calling, especially for dental.”

After their appointment, patients and the community are welcome to the 3,000 to 6,000 pounds of food donations from the Maryland Food Bank. More than 200 household family members were given fresh produce on Monday, including 80-year-old Gary Deniker.

“It helps us a lot because we’re just on social security [benefits.] We have no other means,” Deniker said. “But right now we’re okay and we’re thankful for that.”

For more information on Mission of Mercy, click here.

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