December 13, 2012

Maury Regional Food Pantry is a first in Tennessee

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – The vision statement of Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Care.” Over the years, MRMC administrators, staff and volunteers have found ways to put that vision into practice within and beyond the hospital walls by coupling their patient-centered care approach to hospitalization with free community health screenings, education seminars, support groups and other programs. Their latest initiative is the “Friends and Family Nutrition Fund.”

The “Friends and Family Nutrition Fund” supports MRMC’s food pantry for recently discharged patients who are struggling to afford food for themselves and their families. It is the brainchild of Assistant Director of Food Services Jerry Coulter. Coulter’s concern for the health of recently discharged patients who live below the poverty level led him to spearhead the project with Clinical Dietitian Keri Howell.

“In July, we started forming a group of medical center employees that have a similar passion and quickly received approval from administration,” Coulter said. “In November, we were able to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville and we feel this gives us a good sustainable start to this worthy initiative.”

Maury Regional is the first medical center in Tennessee to have a food pantry for patients in need. Donations for the “Friends and Family Nutrition Fund” are accepted through the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation, which supports the medical center’s efforts in expanding health care services and community outreach programs. To date, much of the funding for the project has come from donations from MRMC employees.

“Through our partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, we are able to purchase food at a very affordable price to assist patients in need, but the need continues to grow so we are now reaching out to the community for help,” Foundation Executive Director Joe Kilgore said.

Logistics prohibit the acceptance of food products at the medical center but tax-deductible donations for this project can be made to the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation, 1224 Trotwood Avenue, Columbia, TN 38401 or at Include “Family and Friends Nutrition Fund” on the memo line of your check or in the comments section online.