Above and Beyond Food Pantry (2020-present)
Dr. Iliana Sweis is the cofounder of the Above and Beyond Food Pantry (A&B Food Pantry). She and her husband founded this organization in 2020 shortly after Covid changed our world. It took several months to find the appropriate location and to organize the manpower to open the pantry. A&B Food Pantry opened its doors in January 2021, with the goal to provide food for those in the community who cannot access it due to food insecurity or food apartheid.
Food insecurity is a lack of access to fresh, nutritious food. In contrast, food apartheid is the racially discriminatory political structure of both past and present that impacts food access in a community. But distributing free food to those who need it is just a short-term solution to a long-term problem in the community. The root causes of food insecurity need to be addressed. In addition to giving out thousands of pounds of nutritious food, the A&B Food Pantry offers all those who enter its doors access to social services, housing assistance, employment support, mental health services, medical assistance, counseling, and public benefits assistance such as SNAP and Medicaid.
The Cutting Edge Foundation (2012-2020)
The Cutting Edge Foundation provides for funding of surgical procedures and surgical research to advance the art of surgery for the purpose of treating those with physical deformities, medical and surgical diseases, but limited financial means of obtaining such care. The funding is also provided to medical institutions recognized for their expertise in treating, medical and surgical diseases, as well as their strong commitment to treating those with limited financial means. The members of The Cutting Edge Foundation consist of physicians, nurses, and lay people all of whom volunteer their services.
The Royal Service Children’s Foundation (1996-1999)
The Royal Service Children’s Foundation conducted medical missions to Jordan to perform reconstructive surgery on children from 1996-1999. Each year, Dr. Sweis led a group of 12-14 people consisting of highly-regarded plastic surgeons, urologists, anesthesiologists, and nurses from Chicago to Jordan to operate on children in need. Everyone volunteered their skills and time. Their efforts were enthusiastically supported and sponsored by the late King Hussein I of Jordan.