Bridgeport Hospital develops backup plan for mobile food pantry visit

Thursday, April 23, 2020

BRIDGEPORT, CT (April 23, 2020) – While there have been many instances of the community supporting hospital staff with food donations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bridgeport Hospital is returning the favor by supporting the community. Food insecurity has been a long standing issue in the Bridgeport area and the need for food has increased significantly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Bridgeport Hospital has served as a host site for a monthly mobile food pantry since May 2019.

This vital program of the Connecticut Food Bank distributes much needed free and nutritious food to patients, visitors and neighbors in the Bridgeport Hospital community. Over 1,400 families have been served by mobile pantry visits to Bridgeport Hospital since they began in May 2019. The current COVID-19 outbreak forced a change of plans to this month’s planned distribution, previously scheduled for the week of April 20. With help from the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, the hospital worked with the Food Bank to deliver its usual monthly allocation of 8,000 pounds of food to Sterling House Community Center in Stratford on April 21. The center relies heavily on donations and has been very short of food for its clients.

“We wanted to ensure that the food intended for the mobile food pantry’s hospital visit would go to those who need it in the local community,” explained Nancy Hamson, System Director, Community Health Improvement, for Yale New Haven Health, Bridgeport Hospital’s parent organization.

Sterling House is a participating site in the hospital’s Know Your Numbers health screening program, implemented in conjunction with multiple community partners, which helps identify people at high risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and refers them to community resources for follow up care.

The donation will help Sterling House continue to provide much needed food to the community. Bridgeport Hospital hopes to host the mobile food pantry in May but if it cannot, it will find a way to get the food to the community as it did in April.

The public can check the mobile pantry schedule for updates, including when the pantry resumes its hospital visits, at 203-741-9751, online at ctfoodbank.org or on Twitter (@CTFoodBank). Those in need of food can also call 211 for information on local food pantries.

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health, is a non-profit 501-bed acute care hospital with two campuses (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale New Haven Children's Hospital). Its Bridgeport and Milford Campuses serve patients from across the region. The hospital admits more than 23,000 patients and provides nearly 350,000 outpatient treatments annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 64 verified burn centers in the United States. Bridgeport Hospital is committed to providing safe, compassionate and cost efficient care to its patients and the community.

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