Virtua Food Pantry Celebrates Grand Opening
The Food Pantry at Virtua Memorial celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 20, 2018. The Food Pantry aims to address food insecurity and chronic disease by providing Virtua patients with “prescriptions” for produce and healthy foods.
Patients are referred to the program through their Virtua primary care physician or the emergency departments at Virtua hospitals. Once referred, patients can shop at the Food Pantry with the help of a dietitian. The available food available includes fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy staples such as peanut butter, oatmeal, tuna fish, brown rice, and pasta. Eligible patients also receive nutritional counseling, education, and social services for a year. All of the above services are free for the participants.
Virtua AVP of Community Health Suzanne Ghee explained, “We have seen a handful of health systems implementing these ‘food farmacy–like' programs across the country. Our ‘food as medicine’ approach will allow us to provide a meaningful intervention combining healthy food access, nutrition education and social services to assist our most vulnerable patients.”
September 21, 2018