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Chester County Food Bank Partners with Chester County Hospital to Open Food Pantry to Help Patients Struggling with Food Insecurity

Partnership to initially support Chester County OBGYN patients and families
Chester County Hospital Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Lynne Rudderow in the new food pantry at the OBGYN Clinic.

Chester County Food Bank (CCFB) has partnered with Chester County Hospital’s OBGYN Clinic, a practice of the Chester County Hospital Penn Medicine, to better serve patients who are identified as experiencing food insecurity.

Chester County Food Bank has been a long-time partner with Chester County Hospital stemming back to the CCFB’s origination in 2009. “In 2017, we partnered with the hospital to offer Prenatal Grocery Boxes to assist pregnant mothers at risk of food insecurity,” said Catie Hargraves, Director of Agency Relations and Distribution at the Chester County Food Bank. “The Prenatal Grocery Boxes are designed to provide expectant mothers with nutritious foods rich in vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy,” continued Hargraves.

“Food insecurity can have severe health consequences, especially during pregnancy,” said Chester County Hospital Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Lynne Rudderow. “The Prenatal Grocery Boxes were an initial step to better serve our patients and their families. As we increasingly screened patients for food insecurity it became clear that we needed to do more to provide direct service and food offerings to food insecure individuals,” continued Rudderow.

The food pantry at the OBGYN Clinic officially opened in October 2022. In its first month of service, the pantry served 50 households, totaling nearly 200 individuals – over 50% of those served were children.

CCFB recently awarded the pantry $1,000 in ACME Market grocery store gift cards as part of the ACME Markets Foundation and their Nourishing Neighbors Foundation which awarded CCFB $10,000 of grocery gift cards to be distributed through CCFB’s network of partner agencies.

“We are fortunate to have Penn Medicine Chester County Hospital, a leader in health care, in our community, said Andrea Youndt, CEO of Chester County Food Bank. “Having the hospital screening patients for food insecurity and being able to directly serve them with emergency food assistance with an on-site food pantry not only best serves the client but also helps to alleviate demands placed on community food cupboards. Our partnership with Chester County Hospital is vital to our ability to serve our community and ensure access to real, healthy food.”

About the Chester County Food Bank
The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization serving more than 150 partner agencies throughout Chester County, PA. The Food Bank distributes over 3.2 million pounds, with over 53% being fresh produce, meats, dairy, and eggs through its network of food cupboards, hot meal sites, shelters, and other social service organizations. Since its inception in 2009, the Chester County Food Bank mobilizes the community to ensure access to real, healthy food. For more information visit, call 610-873-6000, or visit the Food Bank’s sole location at 650 Pennsylvania Drive in Exton, PA.

About Chester County Hospital
Founded in 1892 as the county’s first hospital, the non-profit has grown into a 329-bed acute-care inpatient facility in West Chester, PA. Chester County Hospital has outpatient services in Exton, West Goshen, New Garden, West Grove, Jennersville, and Kennett Square, PA. In 2013, Chester County Hospital became part of Penn Medicine, which is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to medical education, biomedical research, and excellent patient care. In addition to quality-driven medical and surgical services, Chester County Hospital also offers home health, hospice, and skilled nursing care; occupational medicine; outpatient laboratory, radiology, and physical therapy services; wound care; cardiopulmonary rehab; and a prenatal clinic for the underserved. In 2020, Chester County Hospital completed the largest expansion in its history. The project welcomed a state-of-the-art procedural platform with 15 operating room suites, a 99-bed patient tower, a new main entrance, and an expanded and renovated Emergency Department.