Supporting Population Health Through a Food Pantry

Deborah Frank, M.D., director of the Grow Clinic for seriously underweight children at Boston Medical Center, was approached by one of the clinic’s nutritionists about starting a food pantry back in the 1990s. “She said she was sick and tired of having mothers burst into tears when she told them what their children needed to be eating,” says Frank.

Their initial work in helping to feed the community led to the establishment in 2001 of what was one of the first hospital-based food pantries in the U.S., serving not just the original target of pregnant women and undernourished children, but anyone who needed to eat. Demand has exploded ever since, and this past summer, the hospital rolled out a significantly larger version.

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