ALBANY – The Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at Albany Medical Center has received a Connecting Communities grant from Rite Aid Healthy Futures. The $50,000 grant will help support the hospital’s food pantry to improve food access for pediatric patients and families.
The pantry provides non-perishable food items to help supplement breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This week, the pantry received its first delivery of 3,000 pounds of food from the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and the Food Pantries for the Capital District, including canned vegetables, canned tuna, peanut butter and jelly, pasta, cereal, snacks, and more.
Patients and families in need can ask a member of the healthcare team during their appointments at select Albany Medical Center’s pediatric offices, including the Melodies Center and General Pediatrics.
“No child or family should ever go hungry. We want our community to be healthy, and that starts with eating nutritious foods.” Brooke Strauss, manager of Behavioral Health at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital said. “We are extremely thankful for Rite Aid’s grant that will help our pediatric patients and families have easy access to food if needed.”
With the vision of creating healthier, more equitable neighborhoods, Rite Aid Healthy Futures has provided more than $4.5 million in grant funding to leading children’s hospitals across the country, giving them additional resources to address hunger and food insecurity through innovative, community-rooted initiatives. A total of 42 hospitals serving Rite Aid’s 17-state footprint received grants ranging from $25,000 to $300,000 through Healthy Futures’ Connecting Communities signature initiative.
“We have a call to action – to say ‘enough is enough’ when we see so many of our neighbors and neighborhoods facing hunger every day. As a society, we must affect change and strive for more enduring solutions,” Matt DeCamara, executive director of Rite Aid Healthy Futures said. “By partnering with these incredible hospitals across the country, we hope to reach kids and families where the need is greatest and treat healthy food as life-changing medicine.”