Chester County Hospital’s OBGYN Clinic has recently partnered with the Chester County Food Bank (CCFB) to better serve patients who are experiencing food insecurity.
The CCH food pantry has built on a longstanding partnership with the CCFB, which dates to the food bank’s founding in 2009. In 2017, the CCFB partnered with the clinic to give boxes filled with non-perishables to expectant and new moms at risk of food insecurity.
“The Prenatal Grocery Boxes were an initial step to serve our patients and their families,” said Lynne Rudderow, MSN, CRNP, WHNP-BC, Women’s Health nurse practitioner. That need became especially apparent in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rudderow realized that her patients got hit hard – with some unable to put food on the table for their families. She and her team began to brainstorm how they could become a distribution location for the food bank.
The food pantry at Chester County Hospital officially opened in October 2022, getting its first delivery of non-perishables from the CCFB on October 7th and more every Friday since then. In its first month of service, the pantry served 50 households, totaling nearly 200 individuals – over 50 percent of those served were children. Rudderow hopes to add a fridge and offer fresh foods in the future.
The CCH food pantry is now the second of several such pantries at Penn Medicine hospitals to partner with an organization to fight hunger. This past June, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s food pantry partnered with Philabundance to provide food and related resources to employees, postpartum patients, Intensive Care Nursery families, and others who may be experiencing food insecurity.