WILMINGTON, NC – New Hanover Regional Medical Center has initiated a program to help patients with food insecurities, with the development of the NHRMC Patient Food Pharmacy.
Patients will be selected for the Food Pharmacy based on a social determinants of health screening by their nurse or case manager. Eligible patients or family members will be given a voucher which they can redeem upon discharge for a meal box. The box will provide more than 20 meals for a single patient.
NHRMC developed the Patient Food Pharmacy in a partnership with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and the NHRMC Foundation.
“As patients are leaving, they will be given the opportunity to pick up a box of food that will help sustain them during their recovery,” said Corey Yingling, NHRMC Lean Project Lead. “We also will provide them with information about community resources so they can find a long-term solution to their needs.”
Representatives from NHRMC and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina celebrated the opening of the Patient Food Pharmacy with an official “Blessing of the Food” ceremony.
“We are excited to embark on this journey with NHRMC,” said Erin Courtney, Food Bank at Wilmington’s Outreach Coordinator. “The Patient Food Pharmacy will be a bridge to better health and outcomes, providing them the best of medicines, healthy food.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. It is estimated that 11 percent of U.S. households are food insecure.