As the pandemic shone a light on food insecurity, many dining teams increased hours of operation at their food pantries and partnered with local organizations to provide meals for those in need. Doubling down on the idea of food as medicine, here’s a look at how five healthcare operations are ensuring patients and their communities have access to nutritious ingredients and healthy cooking skills.
This Indianapolis hospital recently debuted its expanded Fresh for You Market, a grocery store and kitchen offering healthy staples to patients and the larger community. A voucher program developed by Eskenazi helps enable patients struggling with food insecurity to “shop with dignity,” Director of Food Strategy and Retail Operations Seth Grant told FSD.
Read more about the market here.
Virtua Health in Voorhees, N.J., teamed up with Morrison Healthcare to transform a 40-foot bus into a mobile grocery store that makes stops in local food deserts. The Eat Well Mobile Grocery, which started up last year, offers fresh produce as well as refrigerated and frozen goods.
Read more about the mobile grocery here.
UVA Children’s Hospital
University of Virginia Children’s Hospital also partnered with Morrison Healthcare to boost food access in its community. Healthy items have been the priority at a new food pantry on its campus, with the most popular options including pasta, beans, canned vegetables and graham crackers.
Read more about the pantry here.
Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare
With the help of Sodexo, this Florida hospital bolstered its screening tool for food insecurity during the pandemic and began requiring the screening for all patients. If patients respond affirmatively to two questions, they receive a food kit, recipe cards and additional resources.
Read more about the initiative here.
James Cancer Hospital
Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital is bringing healthy cooking demos to the community with the help of its new Mobile Education Kitchen. The kitchen, which operates like a food truck and is run by the dining team at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, also serves up food samples and nutrition information.
Read more about the kitchen here.