A Prescription for Better Health – Ashe County

A Prescription for Better Health – Ashe County

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Physicians can play a central role in screening and identifying children and adults at risk for food insecurity and connecting them to resources. At one regional hospital, they’re doing just that.

We’re excited to announce the launch of the first hospital-based food pantry in our network – a partnership between Ashe County Sharing Center Food Pantry, Ashe Memorial Hospital and Second Harvest Food Bank.

The hospital has implemented changes to screening practices to identify patients who may be experiencing food insecurity and is providing space and resources for an onsite food pantry. It’s stocked with healthy food options and provides ready access to nutrition assistance for any patient that may need it upon discharge from the hospital.

“The right quantity and quality of food is essential for a healthy, active life and key to preventing disease, supporting health recovery and managing and reducing chronic diseases,” said Laura Lambeth, RN and chief executive officer at Ashe Memorial Hospital. “Now our patients who may need assistance can leave with bags of nutritious food options in addition to any prescriptions or doctor’s orders.”

Ashe County Sharing Center Food Pantry and Second Harvest Food Bank initiated dialogue with the hospital, highlighting data from the most recent Hunger in America study that reinforced the connections between food insecurity and health. For example, among those who turn to local food pantries serving the Ashe County community, 72 percent of households have had to choose between buying food and paying for medical care/medicines.

“We know that food insecurity can worsen chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, and we’re working with hospital dieticians to tailor special meal boxes for these patients,” said Michael Sexton, executive director for the Ashe County Sharing Center. “This is an approach whose time has come,” said Jan Jones, Regional Outreach Manager with Second Harvest Food Bank. “We and our partner programs will continue to meet with interested health institutions across our service area.”

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$1 provides 7 meals.

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#health #JanJones #MichaelSexton #AsheCounty #AsheMemorialHospital #AhseCountySharingCenter

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