ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On May 16, The Presbyterian Center for Community Health will open a Food Pharmacy, a pilot program that will provide free food for select Presbyterian Medical Group patients in need.
Patients on the Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital campus will be screened for food insecurity. If they need food, they will receive a prescription for the Food Pharmacy, to be open Wednesdays from 12-3 p.m.
Presbyterian is partnering with Roadrunner Food Bank to provide fresh produce. At the Food Pharmacy, patients will receive 10 pounds of fresh produce and low-sodium, and low-sugar shelf-stable items such as oatmeal, canned beans, eggs, soup and peanut butter.
"Research shows that people experiencing hunger are not as healthy as the rest of the population," said Mag Strittmatter, president and CEO of Roadrunner Food Bank. "By providing access to nutritious food with partners like The Presbyterian Center for Community Health, we can make an impact on two issues simultaneously – hunger and the chronic health issues food insecure populations face."
Hunger affects nearly one in five families in Bernalillo County. The Food Pharmacy builds on Presbyterian's existing programs that work to increase access to healthy food in New Mexico, such as the free meal program for children at five Presbyterian hospitals, the Healthy Here Mobile Market and the Fresh RX program, which provides patients with "prescriptions" for fresh fruits and vegetables.
About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of eight hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state's largest private employer with more than 11,000 employees.