PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Utah) — A new food pantry program in Provo is helping the hungry while patients get the medical care they need.
Patients who don’t have health insurance will get a nutritious meal when they come in for medical assistance. Utah Valley Hospital saw a great need for food assistance at the nearby Volunteer Care Clinic and got to work on a new food pantry program.
More than 35 meals have been served since the program started a couple of weeks ago.
Cheryl Call, the Volunteer Services Director at Utah Valley Hospital started the program after learning about the idea at a national conference. She and her team provide the meals with the help of funds from the hospital’s gift shop.
“We feel it’s important for our community. We know there is food insecurity and the most vulnerable use the services at the Volunteer Care Clinic,” said Call.
The meals are handed out at the Volunteer Care Clinic, a non-profit in Utah County, that provides free medical care for the uninsured.
“We know if you are hungry, you can’t think, work, sleep well and you can’t heal. We can help with a good meal for one night, ” said Call.
The caregiver providing medical care uses their discretion if the patient and their family needs food assistance. The hospitals dietitians helped develop a healthy and nutritious meal which is handed out twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Volunteer are hoping to expand the program right here in the hospital’s emergency room.
Utah Valley Hospital, United Way, Utah County Health Department and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints help support the free clinic.