Food Pharmacy fights food insecurity

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Non-profit groups say a lot of our neighbors don't know where their next meal is coming from.

Now a unique new *pharmacy in Flint is working to help those struggling with food insecurity.

It's all about balance, and now Hurley Medical center is introducing a program to help their patients balance their meals with their medical needs.

The new pharmacy is said to be the first of its kind in the region.

"What we have discovered is many of our patients leave the hospital and they're struggling with healing an injury or disease and their pantry isn't full," says Alisa Craig, with Hurley Medical Center. "They don't even have foods, let alone healthy options to really help them heal."

That's where Hurley Medical Center's food pharmacy comes in.

"There are statistics that say of older adults, almost 75% one time or another need to chose between paying for a medicine or paying for a food," says Criag. "As you can imagine, someone with multiple chronic conditions they may have 5, 6, or 7 medications. If they have to pay for those to live, then the food takes the back seat."

With the help of multiple partners, including a $50,000 grant from the community foundation from greater Flint, plus help from a nutritionist, Hurley medical center is working towards putting an end to food insecurity.

"This is specifically for Hurley patients. So our goal is that anyone that comes through our in patient or some of our out patients settings," says Craig. "It may not be someone that you may traditionally think of who lives in poverty. It could be anyone who is working a job but their living pay check to pay check so on any giving week, they may not have enough food to make it though the week."

Hurley Medical center says their goal is that their patients will no longer have to choose between their medication and their nutrition.

The program is just in its beginning phases so they're hoping to one day see it on a much larger scale.