WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Food Lion and Novant Health are working together to launch a food pharmacy pilot program at Novant Health’s New Hanover Regional Medical Center that will provide nutritious food and healthy eating options.
The pilot program will last for two years. Novant Health’s dietitians and staff will determine which patients are eligible to distribute nearly 3,000 boxes of shelf-stable nutritional foods from Food Lion.
“This partnership with Novant Health is an opportunity to help our neighbors eat healthier by using food as medicine,” said Matt Yates, Vice President of Food Lion and Vice President of Brand Strategy. Our neighbors provide nutritious food that helps them manage their chronic disease and helps them thrive, setting them up for success.”
A dietitian will evaluate patients who are at risk for malnutrition or food insecurity. Patients facing food safety issues are eligible for a food medicine kit upon discharge.
“Using the proprietary Guiding Stars® system, the Food Pharmacy Box offers shelf-stable pre-sorted foods including milk, oatmeal, tuna, black beans, sodium-free canned vegetables and pasta in sauces, along with nutritional information about Food Lion products and Guiding Stars system,” Food Lion wrote in a release. “Easy to understand, Guiding Stars launched in 2006 and includes product ratings and shelf labels in all Food Lion stores. The three-star rating system is simple: one star for good, two stars for better, and three stars for optimal nutrition Value.The rating system makes it easier and faster to determine the nutritional value of an item and for patients to follow the dietary guidelines prescribed by their physician.
“We are grateful to Food Lion for supporting our vision that food pharmacies will benefit patients in need and for their investment in this program to improve the health of individuals in our hospitals and clinics, many of whom suffer from chronic conditions and are identified Food insecurity,” said Schorr Davis, executive director of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation. “Partnerships like this one help further our mission of improving community health.”
Food Lion also donated approximately 1,800 meals of the same products used in the food kits to the Wilmington branch of food banks in central and eastern North Carolina.
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