Patients experiencing food insecurity to receive weekly food boxes tailored to their medical condition
DENVER – An innovative partnership is bringing healthy meal choices to patients with certain medical conditions that may improve if patients had proper diets. Denver Health is proud to partner with Food Bank of the Rockies to provide free, nutritious food boxes to Denver-area patients that have certain health-risk factors and have screened positive for food insecurity.
According to the National Institutes of Health, food insecurity and the lack of access to affordable nutritious food are associated with an increased risk for multiple chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, mental health disorders, and other chronic diseases.
“There’s growing evidence that if we deal with unmet health-related social needs like hunger, we can help undo harm and improve health outcomes for our patients and the community,” said Margaret Tomcho, MD, Denver Health Medical Director of Pre-Health Programs. “Denver Health is proud to partner with Food Bank of the Rockies to address these social determinants of health.”
Approximately 70 patients from Denver Health are currently enrolled in the Food Bank of the Rockies program that delivers one eight-pound box of food weekly to patients who screen positive for food insecurity and have been diagnosed with one of various complex medical conditions, including diabetes, prediabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. Food Bank of the Rockies works with a registered dietitian to develop these nutritious boxes that include whole grains, low-fat milk, canned vegetables, shelf stable chicken and tuna, spices, nutrient-dense snacks, and a five-pound bag of fresh produce. Patients also receive nutrition education and recipes in every box.
“Food and nutrition security means having reliable access to enough high-quality food to avoid hunger and stay healthy,” said Blake Bigger, healthcare partnership coordinator at Food Bank of the Rockies. “We are proud to partner with Denver Health to make nutritious food more accessible to patients and support the overall health of our community.”
Denver-area residents who are interested in this program should talk to their doctor at Denver Health. Food Bank of the Rockies is encouraging any residents or visitors who need food to pick up free food from one of their mobile pantries, whose locations can be found online at https://www.foodbankrockies.org/find-food.
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About Denver Health
Denver Health is a comprehensive health and hospital system that provides quality care for the Denver Community. Medical teams deliver medical, dental and mental health services to the Denver community, proudly serving as the city’s safety-net hospital for more than 160 years. Denver Health’s commitment to our community includes educating the next generation of health care professionals and furthering critical research to benefit our patients and community.
About Food Bank of the Rockies
Food Bank of the Rockies is the largest hunger-relief organization in the Rocky Mountain region. Since 1978, we’ve put the power of community to work for our neighbors in need. Through partnerships. Through programs. Through people. Through you. Everything we do is fueled by the support of our community and donors, and 96 cents of every dollar goes directly to distribution. With support from our community, we distribute enough food daily for over 180,000 meals. For more information: foodbankrockies.org.
This year is Food Bank of the Rockies’ 45th anniversary.