The Children’s Hospital will use the funding to partner with Geisinger pediatrics and Geisinger’s Fresh Food Farmacy to develop a pilot program that expands access to food for patients aged 6 to 17. Fresh Food Farmacy uses the food approach as a drug to treat adults with precarious food with type 2 diabetes by providing education and enough fresh food for 10 meals a week to patients and their families.
The pilot program will focus on primary prevention – intervention before health effects occur – and, unlike Fresh Food Farmacy, will not require a clinical diagnosis to participate. Patients will be enrolled based on screening for household food insecurity and the child’s and family’s willingness to participate. The program will also seek recommendations from Fresh Food Farmacy patients who have children in their households. Its goal is to serve 75 families and conduct an in-depth review for possible reproduction in Geisinger’s large, mostly rural service area.
“This grant will have a profound effect on our ability to create an innovative program focused on tackling the social determinants of health in the community we serve,” said Jackie Seidel, director of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at Geisinger. “We are grateful for the long-standing relationship between Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital and Rite Aid Healthy Futures and the continued support they provide to CMN Hospitals.”
Funding comes from the Healthy Futures Community Connection Signing Initiative and is part of a total investment of $ 3 million in more than 30 children’s hospitals serving the Rite Aid communities.
The initiative will support a wide range of hospitals and their community programs in 15 states. Funded programs focus on screening for food insecurity, food distribution and nutrition education and aim to remove barriers that prevent communities from achieving health and well-being.
The Children’s Hospital previously used funding from Healthy Futures to develop emergency preparedness programs to train families and professionals for children with special needs.
The grant is funded through Rite Aid’s KidCents fundraising program. Generous Rite Aid customers can round up their purchases online or in the store to support children’s health and well-being. Healthy Futures reinvests in Rite Aid communities through programs such as Connecting Communities.
“The expansion of fair care does not begin in the emergency department. It starts in our neighborhoods, “said Matt DeCamara, CEO of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “Although the needs are great, there is room for improvement. Children’s hospitals are already playing a critical role in providing vital medical care, and many of these institutions have developed impactful programs to serve children, families and communities in ways that go beyond traditional medical care. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has what they need to live a longer and healthier life. “
About Rite Aid Healthy Futures
Rite Aid Healthy Futures, formerly known as The Rite Aid Foundation, is a public charity dedicated to fostering community change, with a focus on underserved neighborhoods, focusing on health, wellness, race and justice. Together with our donors, Rite Aid contributors, community partners and neighbors, we help build local neighborhoods through caring actions and investments that make a real difference in people’s lives. Healthy Futures is proud to be affiliated with Rite Aid, which provides a range of comprehensive health products and services for the entire family through more than 2,000 pharmacy locations in 17 states. Visit www.RiteAidHealthyFutures.org to learn more.