Bryan Health and Food Bank of Lincoln Partner to Help Patients with Food Insecurities
Bryan Health and the Food Bank of Lincoln have partnered to create Hope Against Hunger, a program that helps patients discharged from the hospital who are facing food insecurities.
Recovery and healing can be difficult without proper nutrition and access to food. Hope Against Hunger is a program that helps bridge the gap for patients leaving the hospital, as well as their families, until they can access community food resources.
“Those next few days after being dismissed from the hospital are critically important to their healing,” said Scott Young, executive director, Food Bank of Lincoln. “Having enough food in the house is going to make a difference and a positive impact on their recovery.”
During an admission assessment, nursing staff asks patients two food insecurity questions. If the patient answers, ‘Often True’, to both questions and is being discharged home, the person qualifies for assistance in the form of a backpack filled with various food items.
The backpacks contain approximately 40 pounds of food with contents based upon item availability. The food is estimated to provide one patient enough nutrition to last four days, or, for a family of four, food for one day. A compassionate note of support is also provided to provide comfort.
Food Crucial for Continued Recovery
“We know that food is medicine and should be treated as such,” said Mike Dixon, director, nutrition and dining services at Bryan Health. “If someone is being discharged from the hospital, we know that they are only part way through their healing process.”
“We also include a short note of encouragement to show that we’re focused on the entire healing process and that we support our patients in the community any way we can,” Dixon said.
Donations to the Bryan Foundation have generously provided enough funding to start the program. Volunteers from the Food Bank of Lincoln gather to fill the backpacks full of food items every month. The service is available to patients being discharged at both Bryan East Campus and Bryan West Campus. To date, over 30 patients have been helped by the program.