Steve McCrossan, Executive Director
In 1902, Thomas Edison predicted that, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” Well, that day is closer for children in New Hanover County.
NourishNC is partnering with New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinics to pilot the “Prescription Food Program.” The Nunnelee clinic provides access to more than 30 pediatric physician specialists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners dedicated to the treatment and management of children with chronic medical conditions.
During appointments, Nunnelee’s clinicians will assess children for food insecurity using the Hunger Vital Sign screening tool. Children found to be struggling with hunger and food insecurity, will be provided with a box of non-perishable food containing more than 25 strategic meals. Each child will also receive a “prescription” for 15-20 pounds of fresh produce, lean ground turkey, and wheat bread which can be picked up at NourishNC. Additionally, the food box will contain a resource guide for children and families to find assistance – like how to get enrolled on the NourishNC Backpack Program! If the program is successful, NourishNC will expand it to multiple pediatric clinics!
“Children with limited access to a healthy dietary intake are disproportionately affected by chronic illness. Providing access to healthy alternatives not only improves the child’s current health condition but it can also decrease their risk of additional disease processes later in life” says Vanessa Van Gilder RN, Manager of the Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinics.
This new collaboration fits squarely within the NourishNC Board of Director’s vision to provide nutritious food “anywhere and everywhere” children need it. In fact, it’s being led by board member, NourishNC Volunteer of the Year, and NHRMC Lean Strategies Coach, Corey Yingling. “We believe the collaboration between the Nunnelee Pediatric Clinic and NourishNC will provide another key avenue to identify food insecure children and families in our community and connect them with an immediate and continuous source of nutritious food that will promote long term wellness and an enhanced quality of life.”
NourishNC is committed to building happy and healthy kids. We know that health is more than the absence of disease. It is an optimum state of well-being: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. It includes a sense of belonging to community and experiencing control over your life. Health is wholeness, and many factors can play a role in determining health. Access to nutritious food is one of those key factors.
Food nurtures the body, mind, and soul. Food is medicine.