Food Lion and Novant Health partner for Food Pharmacy Pilot Program

Food Lion and Novant Health partner for Food Pharmacy Pilot Program
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:44 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Food Lion and Novant Health are working in a joint effort to launch a food pharmacy pilot program at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center that will provide access to nutritious food and healthy eating choices.

The pilot program will span two years. Novant Health dietitians and staff will determine which patients qualify to distribute nearly 3,000 boxes from Food Lion that contain shelf-stable, nutritious food.

“This partnership with Novant Health is an opportunity to help our neighbors eat healthier by using food as medicine,” said Matt Yates, Vice President and Brand Strategy of Food Lion. “Through the food pharmacy program, we are providing our neighbors with nutritious food that helps them manage chronic illnesses and helps them thrive, setting them up for success.”

Dietitians will assess patients who are at risk for malnutrition or food insecurity. Patients facing food insecurity are eligible to receive a food pharmacy box upon discharge.

“Using the proprietary Guiding Stars® system, the food pharmacy box provides shelf-stable presorted food items, including milk, oatmeal, tuna, black beans, cans of no-sodium vegetables and pasta with sauce, as well as information about Food Lion’s nutritious products and the Guiding Stars system,” Food Lion wrote in a press release. “Easy to understand, Guiding Stars was introduced in 2006 and includes ratings on products and shelf labels at all Food Lion stores. The three-star rating system is simple: one star for good, two for better and three stars for the best nutritional value. The rating system makes it easier and quicker to identify the item’s nutritional value and for patients to follow their physician-prescribed dietary guidelines.

“We are so grateful to Food Lion for supporting our vision for a food pharmacy that will benefit patients in need and for their investment in this program that improves health outcomes for individuals in our hospitals and clinics, many that have a chronic disease and identify as food insecure,” said Schorr Davis, Executive Director of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation. “Partnerships like this help us further deliver on our mission to improve the health of our communities.”

Food Lion also donated around 1,800 meals of the same product used in the food pharmacy boxes to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s Wilmington branch.

“We know that these food boxes are providing something beyond just a meal for someone. It’s a commitment to their health and addressing that long term,” Sarah Arthur with Novant Health said.