Hickman Community Hospital launches innovative food bank project
The team at Hickman Community Hospital knows that, sometimes, the best medicine goes beyond the traditional concept of health care.
The Centerville hospital has started 2013 with a new initiative, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. Through the Saint Thomas Health Foundation, the two organizations have joined together to create the Hickman Community Hospital-Based Food Pantry, serving as a branch location of Second Harvest.
The food bank program fills a growing need in the Hickman County, where, in some cases, poverty, inadequate public transportation and a limited number of grocery stores can make access to nutritious food a challenge. That fact, coupled with a high rate of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and related complications results in a community that is struggling for want of a basic need.
As a much-needed solution, the program will deliver diet-specific food boxes to patients identified and referred by a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse or other staff member at the hospital, its emergency departments or one of the rural health clinics.
Kevin Campbell, the professional services administrator for Hickman Community Hospital, has played an integral role in the creation of the food pantry.
“The health care providers can offer a patient a food box as part of his or her discharge instructions,” Campbell said. “The boxes serve the function of financially assisting a patient or family in need, as well as providing an educational message on making healthy choices when they buy groceries at the marketplace.”
The boxes will be assembled with three types of preset dietary recommendations in mind: diabetic, renal and low-sodium. Each box will contain approximately 18 containers of a dozen different nonperishable items, including mixed vegetables, canned chicken, unsweetened applesauce, wheat pasta, rice, beans, peanut butter, peaches and more.
Hickman Community Hospital has also partnered with Centerville Church of Christ Outreach Center. Church members involved in their outreach program will assist with the assembly and storage of the food boxes.
The Hickman Community Hospital-Based Food Bank is the first joint effort with a hospital in Tennessee for Second Harvest, and Saint Thomas Health is proud to be a part, as it has great potential to improve the health of so many local residents.
“This program will truly be a wonderful part of extending our mission and ministry into the community,” Campbell said.
For more iformation about Hickman Community Hospital, please visit https://www.sths.com/hickmanhospital.
Through the support of the Saint Thomas Health Foundation, the Hickman Community Hospital-Based Food Bank will provide hundreds of individuals in need with boxes filled with nutritious, satisfying meals this year. You can join the sharing and caring by supporting the foundation with charitable funds. To set up a donation, go to stthomas.org/foundation or call 615-222-6800.
About Saint Thomas Health
Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system with more than 6,500 associates. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes – Baptist Hospital, Saint Thomas Hospital and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.sths.com.