MaineGeneral receives three grants to address food insecurity

AUGUSTA — Funding from the John T. Gorman Foundation will enable MaineGeneral to meet the needs of more patients who are hungry. The health system will provide emergency food bags to patients, targeting those who live in rural areas where transportation services are currently unavailable, have co-existing conditions, are being discharged from hospital stays and other high-risk individuals.
In addition to emergency food bags, vouchers will be provided to patients to purchase ready to go meals from local area restaurants and short-term transportation needs will be addressed, as well. MaineGeneral staff will work with patients to develop longer term solutions. The foundation funding will enable the health system to help approximately 1,000 people access these critical supports.
The Maine Cancer Foundation grant will help MaineGeneral cancer patients access food during the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing a food closet at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care. The food will be given to patients based on individual needs and dietary restrictions.
For example, while some cancer patients can eat soups, oatmeal and canned vegetables, others may need supplements such as protein powder to ensure they are getting the proper nutrition as they undergo treatment. While patients’ ability to access nutritious food has mostly been a financial obstacle, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional safety and product availability issues for patients.
“Combined, these grants will greatly expand our ability to meet patients’ underlying social needs, which we know contribute to overall health outcomes,” Hays said. “We’re grateful for the level of support from these foundations, especially at this critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic and reduction in social services have created even more challenges for people in need to access basic necessities. MaineGeneral looks forward to building on our local partnerships to address the needs of our most vulnerable people in our community.”