‘Food Pharmacies’ In Clinics: When The Diagnosis Is Chronic Hunger

There’s a new question that anti-hunger advocates want doctors and nurses to ask patients: Do you have enough food?

Public health officials say the answer often is “not really.” So clinics and hospitals have begun stocking their own food pantries in recent years.

One of the latest additions is Connectus Health, a federally qualified health clinic in Nashville, Tenn. This month, part of LaShika Taylor’s office transformed into a community cupboard.

“It’s a lot of nonperishables right now, just because we’re just starting out,” she said, but the clinic is working on refrigeration so it can also stock fresh food.

It’s not that patients are starving, Connectus co-director Suzanne Hurley said. It’s that they may have a lot of food one day and none the next. That’s no way to manage a disease like diabetes, she said.

Go to top