Atrium Health Navicent Hosts Healthy Communities Food as Medicine Market Grand Opening
Food insecurity is a major barrier to health for central and south Georgia residents
Community partners joined Atrium Health Navicent on Monday for the grand opening of the health system’s new Healthy Communities Food as Medicine Market and Food Farmacy program.
“Our most recent community health needs assessment identified food insecurity as a major barrier to health care in our area and found that there’s a need for not only increased access to healthy food, but also knowledge about how to make healthier food choices,” said Delvecchio Finley, President and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent. “The Food as Medicine Market and Food Farmacy program will give individuals in our community tools to live healthier, prevent illness and address serious health conditions that can be caused or worsened by insufficient intake of certain foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The market will be accessed by appointment and available for persons in need of food assistance with special services for anyone with a medical condition for which nutrition could affect their overall well-being. Patients will be able to select foods and place them in a cart, just like at a grocery store, so they can supplement their pantries and refrigerators. They will also receive one-on-one mentoring from nutritionists, nurses, social workers and others who will provide education on how to choose and prepare healthy foods.
“Not only is food insecurity an issue for our community, but how we eat and prepare food is leading to both heart disease and diabetes,” said Carol Babcock, Atrium Health Navicent’s director of Palliative Care and Community Services. “The Food as Medicine Market and Food Farmacy is a collaboration with our downtown community neighbors to begin a journey to healthier living.”
Community partners include the Navicent Health Foundation, Middle Georgia Community Food Bank, Macon Outreach, the Society of St. Andrews, Mercer University, High Street Unitarian Universalist Church, Community Foundation of Central Georgia and the Macon-Bibb County Economic Opportunity Council.
“Middle Georgia Community Food Bank serves 102,080 food insecure persons in a 24-county area through a network of agencies and we are delighted that Atrium Health Navicent is becoming a partner in this effort with the Food as Medicine Market in downtown Macon,” said Middle Georgia Community Food Bank President and CEO Kathy McCollum. “By combining access to food with advice tailored to individual health conditions, the market will help middle Georgians improve their diets and live healthier lives.”
About Atrium Health Navicent
Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.