Northern Illinois Food Bank Receives $25,000 Medline CARES Donation – Shaw Local
GENEVA – A new $25,000 donation from Medline CARES is helping support the food bank’s Build Healthy Communities Screen and Intervene initiative, working with health organizations to meet the nutritious food needs of patients identified as suffering from food insecurity. To date, Medline has donated $75,000 to the initiative.
More than 200 families and individuals will be shopping in the Food Bank Initiative’s Rx Mobile food delivery vehicle from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21 at the Erie HealthReach Waukegan Health Center, 2323 Grand Ave., Waukegan.
Erie patients and families at the Rx Mobile event will each select approximately 45 pounds of food, including a mix of meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and other items. In addition to staff from the Erie Food Bank and Family Health, representatives from local nonprofit organizations Keeping Families Covered and Northwest Palliative Care will also provide services at the Rx Mobile event.
“Access to fresh and nutritious food is at the heart of health and hunger. Initiatives such as our Rx Mobiles and our partnerships with health, social service and community organizations provide the nutritious food and nutrition education our neighbors need to thrive,” said Kathleen Wendt, Manager of Healthy Communities and seniors programs, Northern Illinois Food Bank.
“Medline is honored to support organizations like the Northern Illinois Food Bank that are thinking holistically about health equity among the most marginalized people,” said Karen Frey, senior philanthropy officer at Medline. “We are thrilled to see them leading the way in partnering with other agencies to provide much-needed services in a coordinated and convenient way to residents and our communities. »
Erie Family Health staff and healthcare providers say the program fills an important need for their patients. “Overall, we see better health outcomes when our hungry patients are fed fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and protein foods,” said Lacey Johnson, MPH, determinants lead. social health at Erie. “The Mobile Rx has been an exceptional resource for our patients, especially those with chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.”
About the program
Food and nutrition security means having reliable access to enough high-quality food to stave off hunger and stay healthy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Improving access to nutritious food promotes overall health, reduces chronic disease and helps people avoid unnecessary health care. This is why food and nutrition security is one of the main social determinants of health, according to the CDC.
Since its inception in 2019, the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Build Healthy Communities Screen and Intervene program has proven the value of food as medicine, as health care providers shift to holistic health care and focus on the patient’s environment as well as their physical ailments. Under the program, patients are screened for food insecurity in their healthcare providers’ offices using a two-question vital signs hunger screening tool regarding their access to food and their ability to pay.
Those who test positive receive a voucher to participate in the program, which includes Rx Mobiles as well as hospital pantries, an online pantry (My Pantry Express) and Rx markets that use the same food-as-drug approach as well as other services at fixed locations.
The Rx Mobile program is suitable for many people since it takes place periodically in the clinics or hospitals where they already receive care. The program takes place at five locations in Lake County.
He’s also popular with patients: “I love hosting the food bank in Erie because it’s nice to see the needs of so many families being met and I can interact with the community,” said Kaled Cortes, coordinator care at Erie Health Reach Waukegan, which helps plan and execute Rx Mobile events. “The event was also rewarding to see families happy and smiling because they will have enough to eat.”
For more information on the Rx Mobiles and Northern Illinois Food Bank programs, visit: SolveHungerToday.org.