Food Lion Helps Open Food Pantry in Community Hospital
Thanks to a partnership between Food Lion, UNC REX and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, UNC REX Healthcare has opened a food pantry to give patients and their families easier access to healthy food. One of the first food pantries operated by a community hospital in North Carolina, as well as one of only a handful across the country, the venture is known as the UNC REX Healthcare Food Pantry Nourished by Food Lion Feeds.
“We believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent, or medicine and groceries,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham. “The food pantry at UNC REX Hospital is another opportunity for us to help eliminate some of those difficult choices for people in the towns and cities we serve.”
“Access to nutritious and healthy food is critical when recovering from an illness, and just to stay healthier in general,” noted Ernie Bovio, COO of Raleigh, N.C.-based UNC REX, a private, not-for-profit health care system providing various health care services throughout North Carolina’s Wake County. “I’m proud that UNC REX is able to provide this innovative solution for our patients, with help from our collaboration with Food Lion and the food bank.”
UNC REX patients who struggle with food access or are food insecure will receive a prescription to visit the food pantry along with their hospital discharge paperwork. The pantry will then supply them with three days’ worth of healthy food for family of four, including fresh produce, staple items and nutritious snacks.
In addition to providing food, the pantry will dispense nutritional information, healthy recipes from UNC REX chefs and dietitians, and a comprehensive list of food banks and other community resources.
“Access to healthy, nutritious food is one of the building blocks to good health,” observed Food Bank CEO Peter Werbicki. “We’re very thankful for the partnership with UNC REX and Food Lion, which helps reach people in need, where they are, to improve community health and help end the cycle of hunger.”
The UNC REX Healthcare Food Pantry Nourished by Food Lion Feeds is by the hospital’s main entrance and across from the REX Pharmacy. Staffed by volunteers, the pantry is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and employs more than 63,000 associates. The grocer’s parent company of Ahold Delhaize USA, is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.