Hospital expands food insecurity program during pandemic

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare is providing patients and employees with additional resources such as fresh produce and recipe books.
A doctor talks with a patient
Photograph: Sodexo

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in Tallahassee, Fla., has expanded its efforts to help patients and employees struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic. 

The hospital, along with foodservice provider Sodexo, has broadened use of the food insecurity screening tool it launched last year to include outpatients and has mandated that every patient be screened with the tool once they’re admitted.

The tool has clinicians at the hospital ask patients to respond to the following two statements:

  • “Within the past 12 months, I have been worried whether food would run out before I have money to buy more.”
  • “Within the past 12 months, the food I bought didn’t last and I didn’t have money to get more.”

If patients answer yes to one or both statements, they then receive a food kit that includes local and federal food assistance resources as well as a recipe book. 

Hospital employees who are facing food insecurity have also been given resources through the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation. These employees are able to receive bags of locally sourced fresh produce, non-perishable foods and recipe cards. 

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