Renown Health Food Pantry Is Nourishing Patients in Need With Healthy Food Options Available at No Cost, Adapting to Pandemic to Continue this Important Program
May 14, 2020
Patients who qualify for a “Food is Medicine Prescription” can receive a bag of food for themselves and each member of their family every week through this free assistance program.
Renown Health is proud to offer supplementary food to patients in need through its food pantry. Established nearly a year ago, patients who identify as food- insecure are working with Renown’s community health workers to receive fresh produce, canned goods, non-perishable items and other pantry staples to help nourish themselves and their family at no cost. Thanks to the support of the Northern Nevada Food Bank and other local community partners, Renown’s food pantry is helping meet the food needs of homeless and low-income individuals in our community.
“Patients’ responses to our food pantry has been amazing,” said Renown community health worker Seth Rubin. “They are extremely grateful when we give them a bag of food. Their eyes light up knowing that they will have enough food to eat for the week without having to worry about finding a source of food for their family.”
To make this assistance program possible, Renown’s food pantry receives food deliveries every Wednesday from the Northern Nevada Food Bank. The Food Bank meets Renown’s team of community health workers, along with churches and other medical organizations, with a semi- truck loaded with a variety of foods. After receiving a pallet with their food order, Renown’s community health team collects an assortment of fresh produce, donated from local grocery stores and other community organizations. After that, the food is unloaded into Renown’s food pantry located inside The Healthcare Center.
Renown’s community health workers serve patients in the hospital and emergency rooms, as well as individuals who receive care in The Healthcare Center, which provides affordable access to care for anyone in our community. After expressing a need for food assistance, patients are offered a Food is Medicine Prescription. Through this prescription, they can go to a participating food pantry once a week to receive one bag of food per person in their household.
PANTRY CONTINUES AMIDST PANDEMIC
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Renown’s community health workers have worked remotely, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaching out to patients who benefit from this program.
“We’re currently coordinating outpatient deliveries to our patients,” said Rubin. “Every Tuesday and Thursday, we deliver a bag of food to the patient’s house. It has been a great way to continue providing healthy food to our patients while continuing to provide safe care to the patients we see in person at our clinic. Despite our operations being a little different, our patients’ feelings of gratitude and relief remains the same. This is extremely rewarding work and we are proud to continue serving our community throughout these challenging times.”
The Healthcare Center accepts all Medicaid plans in addition to other healthcare plans. To learn more, visit Renown’s website.
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About Renown Health
Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org
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