This Includes Providing Fresh Food & Dry Goods Directly To Patients While At Pak Pediatrics For Checkups Or Educational Programming
The COVID-19 pandemic is dramatically impacting our world and in turn local community. One significant result of the pandemic is food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns from of lack of money and/or resources. “Even just having to tweak your expenditures at the grocery store, choosing maybe inferior products just to make ends meet or just to buy enough for the family that in itself is food insecurity,” said Alvaro Reymunde, MD, a pediatrician owner at PAK Pediatrics.
Regrettably 1 in 6 children in the US lives in a food in-secure household. Two million Pennsylvanians, nearly a third of them children, face food insecurity, according the national nonprofit of food banks Feeding America. In children, food security often leads to poor physical and mental health outcomes that has lasting effects well into adulthood. PAK Provisions, a food pantry right in PAKs pediatric office, was created to provide on-going support within the community for those families with food insecurity.
“We thought this would be a great way to help people and keep them healthy by providing fresh food right in their doctor’s office. It helps strengthen true medical home. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of children and their families right in our community.” says Jeffery Kile, MD, owner and pediatrician of PAK Pediatrics. ‘Food Is Medicine’ is more than a motto, it’s what we strive to achieve. Of note, PAK Provisions is a pilot program supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics-Pennsylvania Chapter for its work with EPIC® Food Insecurity program and is one of a few programs in the nation that has a food pantry embedded within a doctor’s office.
PAK Provisions strives to identify, educate, and provide resources to families in our community with food insecurity. This includes providing healthy fresh food and dry goods directly to patients while at PAK Pediatrics for checkups or educational programming. PAK Provisions partners with local food distribution centers to provide families with healthy food options, specifically Al Beech Food Pantry in Kingston. The program would not be possible without community minded collaboration among various regional food distribution centers.
PAK Pediatrics families that are identified as food in-secure leave their office with fresh healthy food, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and even baby food and diapers. The long-term goal of PAK Provisions is to provide such resources not only to their patients, but the community at large, through continued collaboration with regional food banks. “It warms my heart to see how appreciative families are when we support their needs, PAK Provisions helps heal the hurt of families struggling to put food on their table, which makes for a happier family unit’, says Emily Paraventi, of PAK Provisions.
This news was originally published at Times Leader