Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Establishes Food Pantry to Nourish Patients After Discharge
Even before the pandemic, the Map the Meal Gap analysis underscored the reality of nearly 260,000 residents of Broward County who did not know where their next meal would come from. Of these, more than 18%, or 73,195 children did not have access to nutritional foods, many going to bed hungry. This is a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 economic and health crisis many families are facing today. To ensure patients have access to nutritional foods that support healing after discharge, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has established a Food Pantry.
In partnership with Lions Club International and Feeding South Florida, beginning February 15, 2021, patients and their families who are facing food insecurities will receive nutritional foods to sustain them, while the patients continue to recover at home.
Having access to healthy foods is imperative to a patient’s recovery; it is as important as prescribed remedies. The hospital estimates that 750 families will benefit from the Food Pantry in 2021.
“With this food pantry, we are directly addressing the food insecurity that many of our patients and families experience by ensuring they have access to healthy foods at home to continue the healing process beyond the hospital stay or visit,” said Meghean Feidelman, Director of Food and Nutrition, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Feidelman was joined by Adita Vazquez, immediate past District Governor of Lions Club and Sari Vatske, EVP of Feeding South Florida, among others, at the official opening of the pantry. The three organizations have worked together to build the pantry and will ensure it is well stocked for years to come.