Missouri Delta to open patient pantry

Missouri Delta’s first pickup at the food bank, including healthy foods (Source: Southeast Missouri Food Bank)
Missouri Delta’s first pickup at the food bank, including healthy foods (Source: Southeast Missouri Food Bank)

SIKESTON, Mo. (KBSI) – Missouri Delta Medical Center has partnered with Southeast Missouri Food Bank to offer an on-site food pantry for patients.

“Missouri Delta Medical Center is excited to work with Southeast Missouri Food Bank,” said Amy Thompson, RN, Population Health Manager at Missouri Delta Medical Center. “Proper nutrition is vital to overall health, and we felt this was a great opportunity to positively impact our patients’ quality of life.”

Under the program, Missouri Delta patients will be screened to determine food insecurity issues.

Those who are identified with food insecurity issues will receive a box of healthy foods, including items like canned vegetables and peanut butter, to take home with them when they are discharged from the hospital.

Those individuals will be connected to other food assistance services the food bank provides, such as access to food pantries, enrollment for a monthly senior food box or help applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“We know that access to healthier foods is a barrier faced by many of our neighbors facing hunger. We also know that eating nutritious foods can improve overall health,” said Joey Keys, Chief Executive Officer of SEMO Food Bank. “We’re excited to partner with Missouri Delta Medical Center to provide its patients with healthy foods and get them connected to other services. We hope to establish similar partnerships in the future.”

“Food Assistance and Hunger in the Heartland 2021: State Report for Missouri,” an in-depth report by MU’s Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security, highlighted the connection between food and health, with 64 percent of households who participated in the study purchasing the least expensive food, even if it wasn’t the healthiest option. Additionally, 72 percent of households served by SEMO Food Bank have a member with high blood pressure, 59 percent have a member with high cholesterol and 50 percent have a member with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Missouri Delta Medical Center has been providing comprehensive medical care to the people of Southeast Missouri since 1948. Our medical providers specialize in a wide range of services, and our staff focuses on offering personalized, compassionate care.

The main hospital is located in Sikeston on North Main Street. Within the Physician Services network, they have 24 primary care and specialty clinics throughout southeast Missouri, including Sikeston, Portageville, Kennett, New Madrid, Charleston, Dexter, Benton and Chaffee. Missouri Delta and its entities are accredited by The Joint Commission.

The mission of Southeast Missouri Food Bank is to end hunger and leverage the power of food to build healthy communities. The food bank provides food to 140 charitable and disaster relief programs in southeast Missouri. Its member agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, domestic violence and homeless shelters. Southeast Missouri Food Bank holds regular mobile food distributions and provides monthly boxes of food to 5,600 senior citizens and weekend backpacks of food during the school year to nearly 1,200 students in 30 school districts.

The food bank has a 16-county coverage area that includes Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard and Wayne counties.

Anyone interested in helping can make a tax-deductible contribution, donate food, or schedule a time to volunteer. Visit semofoodbank.org to learn more.

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