Grant to expand food bank program designed to help hospital patients

Posted at 5:01 PM, Oct 21, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nearly 100,000 residents in Davidson County are left wondering when their next meal will be. This inability to access proper healthy food can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

The Food Pharmacy at Nashville General Hospital addresses food insecurity of Nashville General Hospital patients. It is free to patients. On Monday, Nashville General Hospital, Nashville General Hospital Foundation and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee received a $100,000 grant from the Amerigroup Foundation for their ‘Food is Medicine’ program. The grant will fund a yearlong initiative between Nashville General Hospital Foundation and Second Harvest to enhance The Food Pharmacy.

"Food is medicine" will focus on a patient's specific dietary needs with low salt, low fat and super foods.

Diane Carricker uses the Food Pharmacy. She says she discovered she had type 2 diabetes in February. This program helps her maintain a healthy weight and learn the education behind each food she picks.

"When you go to a grocery store you look at price and its hard. Plus, I have to pay for my own medicine," said Carricker, adding "...paying for prescriptions and trying to eat right...this is really beneficial for people like me."

The goal of programs like this one, aims to continue to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity in Tennessee.