DENVER (KDVR) — An existing partnership between Denver Health and the Food Bank of the Rockies is expanding due to increased need. The goal is to provide Denver Health patients in need with nutritious food.
Food Bank of the Rockies started hearing from a handful of health providers in the metro that patients in the hospital were not sure where their next meal would come from, so they teamed up.
People with really complex medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and who have said they’re struggling with food insecurity are eligible to get a box delivered weekly from the food bank. The box has heart-healthy staples as well as 5 pounds of fresh produce.
The food bank has registered dieticians on their team to help with what should go in the boxes, like lean protein items, low-fat milk, and nutrient-dense snacks, on top of fruit and veggies.
With over five clinics, the food bank has about 200 people who are getting weekly food deliveries and 70 of those are at Denver Health.
“What we’re hearing from our health care partners and from the patients that we’re serving, is that they’re experiencing really positive impacts of having this reliable source of nutritious food, like better able to take their medications, better able to stay out of the hospital, better able to keep a healthy weight and keep up a healthy diet when they’re not struggling financially to purchase that healthy food,” said Erin Pulling, CEO of the Food Bank of the Rockies.
They’re able to provide these boxes with the help of donations from the public.
The food bank said this program has a positive health impact, both physically and mentally.
“Patients who have high blood pressure, patients who have heart disease and diabetes do need to eat healthy and have struggles with finding healthy foods. Many of our patients and families live in food deserts, which are areas where healthy food is not readily available. And healthy food can be really expensive. So, when we’re looking at maintaining and managing these diagnoses, it’s really important that they have that diet that can help them keep healthy,” said Dr. Meg Tomcho.
Denver-area residents who need assistance should talk to their doctor at Denver Health, Lutheran Medical Center, Denver Indian Health and Family Services, Clinica Colorado or the Platte Valley Medical Center.
The Colorado Food is Medicine Summit is happening Wednesday and is hoping to share how food can help improve health outcomes.
The food bank’s CEO is speaking at a Food is Medicine Summit for Project Angel Heart discussing how to expand food access.
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