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Hospital-based Food Farmacy helps patient families in need 

03-02-2023 (Akron, Ohio )

Thanks to funding secured by U.S. Rep. Emilia Sykes, Akron Children’s celebrated on Feb. 22 the opening of a food pantry in the Considine Professional Building to help patient families with food insecurity. 

Eligible patients of Akron Children’s Locust Pediatrics Primary Care Group and the Endocrinology Department can now be prescribed a trip to the Food Farmacy, stocked with food and household items by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, as part of a pilot program to address patients’ needs during regularly scheduled appointments. The program will expand to patients in other hospital departments in the coming months. 

“We are grateful to Rep. Sykes for her vision and commitment because without her, we wouldn’t have received initial funding for the Food Farmacy,” said Chris Gessner, CEO and president of Akron Children’s. “We are off to a fantastic start. Since opening three weeks ago, we have served 79 households and 364 people.” 

The hospital-based food pantries at Summa Health Systems, Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital and Akron Children’s are funded through an Ohio Department of Medicaid grant to Akron-Canton Region Foodbank. The funding for the program was secured by Sykes when she was a state representative through an amendment to the state budgets in fiscal years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The total appropriation is $1 million. 

“Programs like Food Farmacy are what happens when we all work together — Republicans, Democrats, and public and private partners alike—to do right by our communities and those who call them home,” said Sykes. “The Food Farmacy will change lives, improve health, and be a model for the state—and the nation—moving forward. I’m proud to have played a part in supporting this innovative program.” 

The Food Farmacy is located on the street level of the Considine Building and is easily accessible to patient families. The pantry is stocked with fresh produce, frozen foods and shelf stable items.


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