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SoutheastHEALTH Partners with Southeast Missouri Food Bank to Establish Hospital-Based Food Pantry

SoutheastHEALTH recently announced a partnership with Southeast Missouri Food Bank to open a food pantry at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau. Patients Pantry, Heroes of Hope program, will provide two weeks of food to patients who have identified food insecurity.

The project was made possible by a grant from the Healthcare Services Group Charitable Foundation. The grant provided $25,000 in funding for the pantry.

Under the program, SoutheastHEALTH will screen patients to determine food insecurity issues. Those who are identified will receive a box of food to take home with them upon discharge. More importantly, 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 already know that people who are food-insecure are more likely to have chronic diseases and therefore have more frequent visits to their doctor or the hospital,” said Joey Keys, chief executive officer of the food bank. “We’re so glad to see SoutheastHEALTH take this innovative step in providing hospital patients with food and getting them connected to the services they need. We hope to establish more partnerships like this in the future.”