SSM Health DePaul Hospital St. Louis opens The Bread Basket Food Pantry!
SSM Health DePaul Hospital Official Launches Food Pantry to Alleviate Food Insecurity
The Bread Basket at SSM Health DePaul is part of a partnership with St. Louis Area Foodbank to connect patients who have been identified has having food insecurity with community resources.
BRIDGETON, MO—SSM Health DePaul Hospital officially opened a food pantry in hopes of alleviating food insecurity in North St. Louis County. The Bread Basket at SSM Health DePaul Hospital is part of a partnership with St. Louis Area Foodbank that will provide patients, who have been identified as having food insecurity, with meals that align with their health care needs.
Food insecurity is a health care issue and a key social determinant of health in the DePaul Hospital service area. Ensuring patients have access to food that will meet their nutritional needs will also ensure better health care outcomes.
“We know that 20-30% of families that we serve in this area are food insecure in some way,” SSM Health DePaul Hospital President Tina Garrison said. “We also know that 50% of all health is driven by social, economic and environmental factors. Certainly, food insecurity is the basis of all of that.”
Patients will be screened for food insecurity when they are admitted to the hospital. Patients identified as having a need will be discharged a set of meals that will be built to meet the needs of their other health conditions. Patients will also take part in a warm handoff with the St. Louis Area Foodbank to connect patients with longer-term community resources.
“This is unique to DePaul and we want to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence to take care of our patients and extending their care post-discharge, “Janetta Feeny, clinical director of telemetry services and a key leader of the food pantry project at DePaul Hospital, said. “The food pantry is there to provide food to patients long enough for them to start making connections with those community partners.”
The project began with a pilot on one patient unit earlier this summer. The ribbon cutting serves as an opportunity to recognize that this project is now being implemented throughout the inpatient hospital units.
“This is what community health looks like,” Garrison said. “We are community hospital, working with community partners like the St. Louis Area Foodbank, to meet a community challenge in food insecurity.”
About SSM Health
SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. The organization’s nearly 40,000 employees and more than 11,000 providers are committed to providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve.
SSM Health in St. Louis operates 8 hospitals, 6 urgent care locations, 25 SSM Health Express Clinic at Walgreens and more than 40 medical offices in the area. For more information, visit us at ssmhealth.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.