Nourishing Hope’s Health and Hope Program is expanding to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago thanks to Lindsey Arenberg, Manager of Program Development at Lurie Children’s and a weekly volunteer at Nourishing Hope. She connected her “two worlds” and helped set up this six-month pilot at Lurie Children’s to help expand the hospital’s hunger relief efforts in response to the increased need for food assistance due to the COVID-19 crisis.
As patients visit the Emergency Department at Lurie Children’s, families are asked a two-question food insecurity screener to identify who may need emergency food and other free resources from Nourishing Hope and Greater Chicago Food Depository. The staff at Lurie Children’s is then able to provide a bag of dry goods packed by Nourishing Hope volunteers with information on how they can get assistance after their emergency room visit.
“Connecting people to food assistance is a critical way to support and improve our community’s health,” says Jennie Hull, Chief Program Officer at Nourishing Hope. “Our goal is to ensure that all patients have access to the healthy food they need to nourish and heal themselves.”
This pilot program will impact approximately 100 families per month from June 1 to November 1. The Lurie Children’s and Nourishing Hope teams will be gathering important data on food insecurity to help provide more meaningful solutions to increasing food access.
“It’s wonderful to be partnering with Nourishing Hope through its Health and Hope program to jointly address food insecurity in Chicago,” says Arenberg.
The expansion of Health and Hope kicked off at Lurie Children’s as millions of children faced summer hunger, when traditional sources of food at school were no longer an option.
Nourishing Hope is committed to continuing its efforts to expand its vital programs to meet clients where they are and ensure that food is accessible to everyone.