Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center receives $11,000 grant to help address food insecurity
Since providers began screening patients for food insecurity at their medical appointments in the summer of 2020, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has seen the need for access to healthy food skyrocket. Through the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors program, primary care offices and specialty clinics, including Northern Light Cancer Care, have screened more than 38,000 people, identified 1,540 patients as food insecure, and connected nearly 800 patients and their families with free healthy and nutritious food.
Now, thanks to an unrestricted grant from Good Shepherd Food Bank, the Medical Center will be able to screen and assist even more people facing food insecurity. As part of the Food Bank’s program, funds were awarded to hunger-relief organizations across Maine; the Medical Center received $11,000 to help stock its food cupboards with much needed non-perishable food and supplies.
“We know many families and individuals are having to make difficult decisions about whether to buy food or other necessary household items, like heating oil and medications,” says Rand O’Leary, MSA, FACHE
, Senior Vice President, Northern Light Health and President, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. “These funds from Good Shepherd Food Bank will go a long way in supplementing the donations our employees have been making for the past several months, and we are so grateful for their partnership.”
Good Shepherd Food Bank recently announced an investment of $1.5 million in 417 organizations throughout the state working to end hunger in Maine. Awards ranged from $500 to more than $20,000 with an average grant amount of $3,570.
Since launching Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center employees have held a series of food drives to help stock the food pantries, donating nearly 2,275 pounds of food and raising more than $2,300 to help sustain the program. They are planning another employee drive for donations later in March.
To learn more about the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors Food Insecurity Program, visit northernlighthealth.org/emmcfood