GAITHERSBURG, Md. (Feb. 25, 2021) – Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) and its food management partner Sodexo are stepping up to address increasing food insecurity concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a new program patients determined to have food insecurity will be provided access to registered dietitians while in the hospital, then provided emergency food kits, resources and assistance once discharged.
As part of the program all patients are screened for food insecurity upon admission using the Hunger Vital Signs™ two-question screening tool. Once patients are identified as food insecure, a trigger is sent to the registered dietitians or nurses and the patient is offered an emergency food kit. The nutritious food kit also includes local and federal food assistance resources and a recipe book to help patients use food provided once discharged to help maintain a well-balanced diet. When appropriate, a non-food-related resources guide is also provided.
Additional programs at TMH, managed in partnership with Sodexo and the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation, help hospital staff who may be experiencing food insecurity. These programs source from local farmers or other community-supported efforts to provide hospital employees with a fresh bag of produce, non-perishable foods and a recipe card during the pandemic.
Sodexo is also addressing food insecurity through its non-profit organization Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation. The foundation mobilizes experts, innovators, volunteers and donors to feed children in the U.S. today and advocates for policies that ensure no child is hungry again tomorrow. Since its inception in 1999, Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has granted more than $34.5 million to alleviate child hunger.