Food Farmacy Program Kicks Off This Month in Peekskill and Mt. Vernon
NewYork-Presbyterian is working with Feeding Westchester to provide at-risk families in Peekskill and Mt. Vernon with healthy food. The two organizations launched the Food Farmacy Program this month, which provides bags of nourishing, healthy food and staples to 120 area families. The 20-pound bag includes whole grains, low-sodium and low-sugar shelf-stable products, and fresh produce.
NewYork-Presbyterian’s Food Farmacy Program is a prevention program that addresses food insecurity to help improve health outcomes. Individuals with nutritional needs are referred to the program by a health provider for supplemental foods that best promote health, prevent future illness, and manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. In addition to receiving the healthy food items, participants will receive ongoing nutrition education and access to resources to assist them in working towards food security. The pilot program runs through the spring, with a goal to become a permanent program for both NYP hospitals.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital is facilitating the food distribution program with Sun River Health in Peekskill, and NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital is working with the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center. Additionally, the NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Hudson Valley and Westchester neighborhood offices will identify their patients who are experiencing food insecurity from NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital and refer them to one of the programs.
“NewYork-Presbyterian is deeply committed to improving the health and well-being of our patients, our neighbors, and all the communities we serve in Westchester County,” said Michael Fosina, MPH, FACHE, President, NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. “We are thrilled to work with Feeding Westchester to offer this innovative program in areas that have been hard hit as a result of the pandemic.”
The Food Farmacy Program was created to provide nutritional food resources to help those experiencing food insecurity. It is changing the conversation that providers are having with their patients and underscoring the connection between social determinants of health – such as access to housing, transportation, and food – and health outcomes.
Stacey Petrower, President, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, added, “Food insecurity was a very real issue in Westchester County even before COVID-19 struck. We are focused on helping alleviate this problem and are proud to take part in this effort to keep our community members healthy through the food and nutrition education services provided by the Food Farmacy Program.”
Karen C. Erren, President & CEO, Feeding Westchester, said, “Collaborating with NewYork-Presbyterian supports Feeding Westchester’s mission to end hunger, improve nutrition and health, and connect people to the resources they need. Together our organizations will provide the resources to help these communities address food insecurity and improve the quality of people’s diets. Feeding Westchester’s prescriptive pantry program is intended to improve the health outcomes of our clients with food-related health challenges.”