• Innovation in Action

Apr 29, 2024

Missouri Hospital’s Food Pantry Addresses Food Insecurity Needs of Patients

Missouri Delta for website

Missouri Delta Medical Center, which serves an area ranked high for socioeconomic concerns, specifically food insecurity, created a food pantry to address this issue with patients identified as having this need. This initiative is part of the hospital’s goal to reduce the number of patients identified for food insecurity by 10% within the next three years.

Eligible patients receive a box of healthy food to take home when they leave the hospital and are connected to other food assistance services, such as food pantries, enrollment for a monthly senior food box or help applying for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Since opening the food pantry in February 2023, 949 patients have been assessed for food insecurity. Of those, 39% of acute inpatients were identified as having food insecurity and 67% of patients identified with food insecurity accepted a referral to the food bank. Of those referred, most were connected to additional support services and 91% of those patients signed up for text alerts about local food pantries and mobile pantries. Also, 30% signed up for Medicaid and/or SNAP benefits and 36.5% signed up for monthly senior boxes.

“We had anticipated that approximately 20 patients would be identified with food insecurity per month, but this number was double what we anticipated,” said Amy Thompson, RN, Population Health Manager at Missouri Delta Medical Center. “We are now starting to implement a referral process for our outpatient services. After seeing such a need and having the success with our inpatient population, we felt it necessary to push this agenda further to reach more of our population.”

Missouri Delta Medical Center is a 2023 Health Quality Innovator of the Year award winner in the Health Equity category. Click HERE to view their category, which includes a video detailing Missouri Delta’s work to address food insecurity. Also, click HERE to read about all the winners and runners up.

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