Food Farmacy focuses on keeping patients healthy
June 18, 2019 06:36 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eating healthy can be challenging and expensive for so many of our families, but a new community resource center in Albuquerque aims at changing that.
The new Presbyterian Community Health Resource Center just opened last week on Wyoming near Constitution. It includes something called the Food Farmacy.
Instead of dispensing medication, it provides free and healthy food to patients in need. The shelves at Food Farmacy are stocked with fresh produce, dairy, dry goods and nutritious food to help patients live healthier lives.
"This Food Farmacy is for people who are food insecure and they're referred by a Presbyterian provider to access the Food Farmacy,” said Leigh Caswell, Presbyterian’s vice president for community health. She says after a patient is referred to the Food Farmacy they can visit once a week for 6 months and chose up to 15 pounds of food for free. That equals about 10 to 12 meals.
"We want to either help people live in a healthy way with a chronic disease or prevent a chronic disease," she said.
A registered dietitian is also available to answer questions and provide healthy recipes.
"We have patients who tell us immediately, ‘This is the first time in years that I actually have three meals a day, that I'm able to actually have a full meal that feels good,’” said Tatiana Falcon Rodriguez, the Food Farmacy's program manager. It's all about educating patients about the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet.
"But also we're providing them the resources,” she said. “So we're not just giving them a bunch of food and saying good luck, we're saying here's a bunch of food – let's talk through what you're interested in, what do you have access to? So we can really think about what recipes make the most sense.”
The Food Farmacy is only available to patients referred by their doctors, but the Presbyterian Community Health Resource Center is open to the whole community.
Updated: June 18, 2019 06:36 PM
Created: June 18, 2019 05:36 PM
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