Lakewood Engage, Lakewood’s community health initiative, was recently awarded the ‘Expanding Food Access’ grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. The awarded amount was $96,248.27 and is intended to address food insecurities related to the impact of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
The Meals at COVID+ initiative was launched in early October which will provide 14 homemade frozen meals (including milk) for all members of the household for any Lakewood patient testing positive for COVID-19 who meets food insecurity criteria.
“Food insecurity isn’t just about hunger, it describes a household’s ability to purchase, prepare and afford a sufficient quantity of healthy food. COVID-19 brings on a variety of complex challenges for families to face while staying home and staying safe,” said Alicia Bauman, Director of Community Health at Lakewood. “This grant allows Lakewood Health System to support patients and their families who are dealing with a COVID-19 diagnosis, by overcoming complex barriers related to healthy eating and healing.” The meals are prepared by Hilltop Kitchen in Eagle Bend and delivered, contact-free, to the patient’s home.
This includes patients in Lakewood’s clinics, those discharged from the hospital or emergency department, and employees at Lakewood and its occupational health sites.
In addition to funding Meals at COVID+, the grant will also support the Cardinal PAX program which provides weekend meals for school-age children.
The grant funding period ends December 31, 2020, but will be reassessed if there is continued need.