Food Insecurity in Southern Maine
MaineHealth is collaborating with Good Shepherd Good Bank to support its vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America. As a health care organization, we believe that providing access to healthy food is an important part of our health care services in local communities.
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity means not having reliable access to affordable, healthy food. In Maine, one out of every five children and one out of every ten people are food insecure. Our goal is to offer a variety of fresh and shelf-stable foods free for our care team members, patients and their entire households. We know that many Mainers have a hard time accessing food and we hope this resource will give those in need reliable access to food that supports their health and well-being.
Food Insecurity Screening at our Hospital and Practices
Food insecurity makes a person more likely to develop a chronic disease and makes it harder to manage a disease. That's why we proactively screen patients in our practices and hospital departments for food insecurity and make referrals to the program as needed. Patients are also offered free, shelf-stable food and fresh produce before they leave our hospital or emergency department.
Prescription for Health
Our produce prescription program offers bags of free fresh produce to anyone in need. This service is available at our retail pharmacy in Biddeford, located on the 1st floor of the hospital at 1 Medical Center Drive.
Hours are Monday - Friday 9 am - 6 pm and Saturday 9 am - 3pm.
MaineHealth has invested in on-site raised garden beds on our Biddeford and Sanford campuses. These gardens produce healthy food that is given to employees who are undergoing hardship through our Helping Hands program. The community gardens also support our patient and community food security programs.