Crown Point, NY – The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital opened a new food pantry today in its Crown Point Health Center. The goal of the project, started with support from the Essex County Health Department and Well Fed Collaborative, is to make healthier food options available at no cost to those in need.
The pantry will serve patients and community members Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Pantry staples include soup, oatmeal, whole grain cereal and pasta, frozen meat, and peanut butter. Health center staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide orientation and sign-up materials to new customers.
“Expanding access to healthy food is so important,” said Essex County Health Department Chronic Disease Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Terry. “Over 30% of Essex County residents are individuals and families with an income above the federal poverty level but below a sustainable wage. They make just enough to miss out on nutrition benefit programs but don’t make enough to purchase healthy foods.”
Grant funding through the Well Fed Collaborative supported the purchase of healthy food items and pantry equipment such as shelving, freezers, a refrigerator, and office supplies. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Fund also donated $1,000 for the purchase of food items, cleaning supplies, and personal and oral hygiene products.
The UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital will expand the program to include a small food pantry at its Au Sable Forks Health Center and will make pantry items available upon request to its Ticonderoga Campus, Elizabethtown Community Health Center, High Peaks Health Center, Smith House Health Center, or Westport Health Center.
“The availability of fresh, nutritious food is limited in Crown Point,” pointed out Julie Tromblee, vice president and chief nursing officer at the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital. “The nearest grocery store is too far for those without transportation and that creates a reliance on convenience stores for day-to-day food shopping. Our partnership with Essex County and the Well Fed Collaborative has allowed us to get this pilot program off the ground and reach those in need.”
“The goal of the Well Fed Collaborative is to improve health outcomes and reduce health care utilization by improving access to healthy food and increasing food security for all Essex County residents,” said Ms. Terry. “We are partnering with local health care organizations on a range of projects to help achieve that goal. The “Farmacy” project; Wellness Rx provider prescription project; Healthy Pantry Conversion project; WIC & Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Navigation project; and the Better Choice Retailer program.”
Donations for the food pantry project may be made at any of the UVM Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital health centers. For more information, please call (518) 873-3125.
About Elizabethtown Community Hospital
The University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital is a designated critical access hospital and the primary health care provider serving the 39,000 people who live, work and vacation in Essex County, NY and the surrounding region.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital is transforming rural health care at its main campus in Elizabethtown, NY, at a new emergency department and outpatient center at the former Moses Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga, NY, and at six community-based primary health care centers located throughout the region. The hospital is one of the community’s largest employers with 383 employees.
Across the Elizabethtown and Ticonderoga campuses, the hospital maintains two 24-hour emergency rooms, a 25-bed inpatient unit, physical therapy, laboratory, and digital radiology departments, and a variety of specialty physician clinics on a weekly and monthly basis.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is licensed and certified by the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
About The University of Vermont Health Network
The University of Vermont Health Network is an academic health system that is comprised of six affiliate hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group, and a home health agency. We serve the residents of Vermont and northern New York with a shared mission: working together, we improve people’s lives. Our partners include:
Our 4,000 health care professionals are driven to provide high quality, cost-efficient care as close to home as possible. Strengthened by our academic connection to the University of Vermont, each of our hospitals remains committed to its local community by providing compassionate, personal care shaped by the latest medical advances and delivered by highly skilled experts.