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Presbyterian continues free meal program for kids during pandemic

July 7, 2020 Press Release

Presbyterian continues to offer free meals for children at seven hospitals across the state, including during the summer months. Meal times are available here

Demand for the meals has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Presbyterian hospitals providing 600% more meals in March, April and May compared to the same months in 2019.

“New Mexico led the nation in child hunger rates before the current pandemic,” said Leigh Caswell, Vice President, Community Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services. “We have seen firsthand how important it is to continue this service at this incredibly challenging time for so many families in our community.”

Since the program began in 2016, Presbyterian Healthcare Services has provided more than 72,900 healthy meals to children. The program provides free, nutritious food to children 18 years and younger, regardless of income, as part of Presbyterian’s partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA) Southwest Region and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).

The USDA operates the federally-funded, state-administered Child and Adult Care Food Program during the school year and the Summer Food Service Program in the summer. As a sponsor, Presbyterian hospitals provide select healthy options and receive reimbursement from the USDA year-round. During the pandemic, meals have shifted to grab-and-go options, with most sites offering drive-up service.

While most hospitals partner with USDA and CYFD, Lincoln County Medical Center supports the program on its own and the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation funds meals at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center.

Improving access to healthy food is a priority at Presbyterian. In addition to the free meal program, Presbyterian has two Food Farmacy sites that provide free food for select patients in need and offers the Healthy Here Mobile Farmers Market, as well as free virtual classes on healthy cooking, gardening and chronic disease management.

Meal hours:

Lincoln County Medical Center

  • Daily: noon-1:30 p.m.
    Please call 575-257-4265 before 10 a.m. to order.

Plains Regional Medical Center

  • M-F: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital

  • M-F: 12 p.m.-1 p.m.

Presbyterian Hospital

  • M-F: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Presbyterian Rust Medical Center

  • M-F: 8 a.m.-10 a.m. and 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center

  • M-F: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Socorro General Hospital

  • M-F: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

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