A Hospital That Prescribes Free Nutritious Food to Families Who Need More Than Medical Care

A Hospital That Prescribes Free Nutritious Food to Families Who Need More Than Medical Care

A Hospital That Prescribes Free Nutritious Food to Families Who Need More Than Medical Care 2021

By Diana Cuy Castellanos, University of Dayton

Being food-insecure – unable to get enough nutritious food to meet your needs – can take a toll on your health. So Dayton Children’s Hospital has begun to screen its patients and their families for this problem and refer them to what it’s calling the “Food Pharm.”

This program, which launched about two years ago, currently aims to provide about 55 families per month with enough healthy food, such as whole grain pasta, beans and green beans, to feed a family of four for three days while also connecting them with other resources to help them get through the rest of the week.

It’s also taking care to ensure that this one-time donation of nutritious food is culturally appropriate, meaning that people know how to prepare and consume the food they receive and it fits with their culture and beliefs. For example, it’s not culturally appropriate to give people tofu if they’ve never seen it or cooked with it, or to give devout Muslims pork.

Participating families get a box of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, proteins and grains. Families also get some help, if they are eligible, enrolling in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as taking nutrition classes. The Food Pharm also connects the families of patients with food pantries near their homes so they might get more access to free food on a regular basis.

Here are the 11 most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

  1. Salmon. Not all fish is created equal. …
  2. Kale. Of all the healthy leafy greens, kale is the king. …
  3. Seaweed. The sea has more than just fish. …
  4. Garlic. Garlic really is an amazing ingredient. …
  5. Shellfish. …
  6. Potatoes. …
  7. Liver. …
  8. Sardines.

Food insecurity, meaning not being able to get enough nutritious food to meet your needs, can affect your health. That’s why Dayton Children’s Hospital has begun screening its patients and their families for this problem and referring them to what it calls “Food Pharm.”

Launched about two years ago, this program currently aims to provide about 55 families per month with enough healthy foods, such as whole-wheat pasta, beans, and green beans, to feed a family of four for three days while connecting them. with other resources to help them get through the rest of the week.

It is also ensuring that this unique donation of nutritious food is culturally appropriate, which means that people know how to prepare and consume the food they receive and that it fits their culture and beliefs.

A Hospital That Prescribes Free Nutritious Food to Families Who Need More Than Medical Care 2021

For example, it is not culturally appropriate to give people tofu if they have never seen or cooked with it or to give pork to devout Muslims.

Participating families receive a box of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, proteins, and cereals. Families also receive help, if eligible, to enroll in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as to take nutrition classes.

Food Pharm also connects patients’ families with food pantries close to their homes so they can have more access to free food on a regular basis.

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A Hospital That Prescribes Free Nutritious Food to Families Who Need More Than Medical Care

Food insecurity carries health risks A Hospital That Prescribes Free Nutritious Food

About 11% of all Americans and 25% of American children are food insecure. An even larger proportion of Dayton, Ohio’s population is food insecure – roughly 17%. And the number of people in Dayton who cannot get enough nutritious food is increasing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Among other things, food insecurity increases the potential for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It is worrying that children who are food insecure are more likely to perform poorly in school than other children and become socially isolated.

As a registered dietitian, I am volunteering to help this program evaluate how well it works. We do not yet know how culturally appropriate the boxes are, or if the participating families actually eat all the food provided.

Food Pharm at Dayton Children’s Hospital will analyze those questions and use the information obtained to make any necessary adjustments.

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