CMC, NH Food Bank launch the Preventative Food Pantry

In the fall, Catholic Medical Center – in partnership with the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities NH, and the Parish of the Transfiguration Food Pantry – launched a transformative, first-in-the-state program.

The Preventative Food Pantry helps patients with chronic medical conditions get healthy foods and nutrition counseling in an effort to improve their overall health.

CMC social workers and nutritionists will identify patients who have conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and who are food insecure. Those patients will receive a prescription for the Food Pantry that they can visit twice a month to collect a box of healthful food that complies with their diet restrictions. Patients will also check in with volunteer nurses.

“Imagine knowing what’s in front of you isn’t healthy, but it’s all you have to eat,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. She said one in nine New Hampshire residents, including 11 percent of children, is food insecure. “We hope this is the first of many programs like it across the state.”

The New Hampshire Food Bank will supply food to the Food Pantry, which will receive the prescription for each patient directly from CMC. A grant from the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund helped get the program going, funding the purchase of a new, commercial-grade refrigerator and freezer to store vitamin-rich, fresh foods.