FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2022
Finger Lakes Performing Provider System (FLPPS) is partnering with two regional foodbanks and non-profit agencies to address food insecurity and maternal health needs in the Finger Lakes region. Food insecurity is a social determinant of health and a driving force of health inequities. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of food insecurity, disproportionally affecting women and racial and ethnic minorities.
In Chemung County, Foodbank of the Southern Tier and Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Developmental Services, Inc. (C.I.D.S) are collaborating with Arnot Health and Meals on Wheels of Chemung County on an innovative maternal program referred to as “Kitchen Stork” that provides home delivery of nutritious food along with virtual cooking classes. The program plans to serve up to 50 expectant mothers during their pregnancy and postpartum period. Community Health Workers from C.I.D.S will provide support to participants throughout the duration of the program.
In Monroe and Ontario County, Foodlink is collaborating with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield on a maternal health program that provides for home delivery of nutritious food along with virtual cooking classes. The program plans to serve approximately 150 expectant mothers identified by Excellus during their pregnancy and postpartum period.
Both programs include a welcome or starter kit containing an array of pots, pans, kitchen utensils, spices, and oils.
“FLPPS is very pleased to support these innovative programs that provide healthy food and nutrition education during a critical time. Nutritious food and healthy eating habits promote better health outcomes, for both mother and child,” said Carol Tegas, Executive Director of FLPPS.
“The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is excited to launch the Kitchen Stork program, and we are pleased to partner with FLPPS, Arnot Health, Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Developmental Services, and Meals on Wheels of Chemung County. Each organization is generously sharing its unique strengths to make Kitchen Stork successful and sustainable. Our hope is that Kitchen Stork will positively impact the health of pregnant and postpartum mothers and their families through access to home-delivered nutritious foods, cooking and nutrition education and support from community health workers,” said Matthew Griffin, Director of Health & Nutrition for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
“I appreciate the intent of this collaboration with FLPPS and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Addressing the needs of maternal-child health is a vital service for the mother, the unborn child, and Population Health in general. Providing this basic need to this vulnerable population is essential in improving birth and health outcomes for both the mother and her child,” said David Andreine, C.I.D.S. Executive Director.
“Foodlink’s Curbside Market has always stepped up in innovative ways to increase access to healthy food and reach more households throughout the Rochester region. This home delivery pilot is making great strides to provide healthy food options to more than 150 pregnant individuals and their families. We’re so grateful to all of the funders, supporters and community partners that have made this possible,” said Julia Tedesco, President & CEO of Foodlink.
“Addressing food insecurity is a clear need in our community. Understanding how health equity and social determinants impact our members’ health allows us to provide them with better care,” said Gina Cuyler, M.D., Vice President Health Equity and Community Investments for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “Excellus BCBS is committed to using our resources to advance health equity. The maternal food program partnership with Foodlink allows us to address disparities in maternal health and support moms at risk.”