Pierce County Food Bank offers free monthly dental checkups
If a visit to the dentist is long overdue, there’s a pop-up clinic in Sumner that might be able to help you out at no cost.
The Sumner Community Food Bank at 15625 Main St. E. recently partnered with International Medical Teams provide free dental services to adults and children. These services include but are not limited to fillings, cleanings and extractions.
The clinic will be held on the last Thursday of every month for a year, medical teams spokeswoman Karen Piatt said. The first clinic took place on August 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the food bank. About 20 people have signed up for treatment.
One of them was Tacoma resident Laurel Jones, who made an appointment for her three young children.
“It’s very helpful financially for my children to be able to get not only a medical today, but also fluoride treatment,” Jones told the News Tribune.
The food bank has informed its customers of the clinic and will continue to do so, said Anthony Apeles, executive director of the food bank. More than 2,000 people have been notified, he said.
Apeles said he wanted the food bank to be part of people’s “wellness journey”, which led to their partnership with medical teams. Offering food is a need they already meet – dental care is just another step, he said.
“It’s an ongoing struggle for our customers just to put food on the table. Dental care is an afterthought…because it is simply trying to provide for the basic needs of the family. Our ability to bring the services here for free is huge,” Apeles said.
Patients can call the food bank at 253-863-3793 or medical teams at 425-454-8326 to schedule an appointment. They don’t need insurance to get on the list. Those who attend will be referred to a local dentist for follow-up care.
Medical Teams is a faith-based organization that provides “lifesaving” medical care to people facing barriers to care, according to a news release about the new clinic. The release says the organization is short of volunteer dentists in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Those who want more information can visit medicalteams.org.