New Food Pantry Program Now Helping Those in Need

The pantry is available two times a week as part of the Volunteer Care Clinic (VCC), a not-for-profit clinic in Utah County that provides free medical care to community members without insurance. Utah Valley Hospital, United Way, Utah County Health Department, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints collectively support the VCC. 

Clinic patrons who have need of food assistance can receive a free meal provided by the hospital’s Volunteer Services. Clinical dietitians helped develop the meals, which consist of 700 calories, 18 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber. The meals come with cooking instructions as well as a list of community resources available for the individual to utilize. 

More than 35 meals have been distributed since the program started in early October.

“We know when people are struggling, sometimes all they need is a good meal to help them think clearly and decide the next steps and where to turn for help. It’s all part of the healing process,” said Cheryl Call, Volunteer Services director at Utah Valley. 

Call learned about the idea of a hospital food pantry at a national conference earlier this year and felt a similar program would be beneficial in Provo. The Volunteer Services Governing Board supported and idea and now donates a portion of the funds raised in the hospital’s Gift Shop to purchasing the items needed for the meals.

Individuals don’t have to meet any criteria to receive a meal. If a caregiver at the Volunteer Care Clinic feels an individual — and that person’s family — could benefit from a meal, then a meal will be offered.

Call and her volunteers felt the VCC was an appropriate place to start the food pantry because the clinic’s patient population may also struggle with food insecurity. They’re working with Utah Valley’s leadership team to expand the food pantry program to the hospital’s Emergency Department.

 

Uninsured community members seeking medical care can also receive a boost to their dietary resources thanks to a new food pantry program created by Volunteer Services at Utah Valley Hospital
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