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SSM Healthcare & Catholic Charities Create “Hope & Healing Food Bags” Program

All News RSS Feed Front Page News Health State News Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

A new program is aiming to help residents across Mid-Missouri when it comes to health and healing.

According to Catholic Charities & SSM healthcare, they are joining together to provide “Hope & Healing Food Bags” which will improve access to food resources.

The program is being launched at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City.

SSM says they’re investing $50,000 towards program, which provides two days’ worth of food for patients to take home upon discharge, along with additional resources for sustained food and nutrition support.

That’s on top of another $445,000 that’s been invested in their grocery program for the past 3 years.


More info:

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City joined together to create the Hope and Healing Food Bags for improve access to food resources, which will impact the overall health and well-being of area residents through this collaborative partnership.

Three years ago, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation began a relationship with Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri to address food insecurity in our community.

K.C. DeBoer, SSM Health Mid-Missouri Regional President and President of St. Mary’s Hospital, said, “Because we believe you cannot have optimum health without access to nutrition, we have invested $445,000 over the past three years toward Catholic Charities’ grocery model client-choice pantry, at the former Shikles Auditorium, to improve the health and nutrition of our neighbors in the midst of low-income housing.”

In recent years the entire SSM Health system, spanning four states, has been on a mission-driven journey to proactively address social determinants of health, including food insecurity. These efforts have included the creation of clinically integrated food pantries in many of SSM Health hospitals and clinics. Inspired by the founding sisters and guided by the Mission, this year St. Mary’s and Catholic Charities built upon the strong relationship to launch such a program in Jefferson City.

Litz Main, Executive Director for Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, said, “The genesis of this partnership occurred when SSM Health approached Catholic Charities this year with a novel idea to address food insecurity among their patients. Recognizing the importance of social determinants of health, particularly access to food resources, we joined forces to create a solution. Our shared vision was for Catholic Charities to provide two days ‘ worth of food for the patients to take home upon discharge from St. Mary’s Hospital, along with additional resources for sustained food and nutrition support. Thus, the Hope and Healing food bags were conceived.”

In August a soft launch of the food bag program was initiated at St. Mary’s Hospital, and shortly thereafter expanded to SSM Health Medical Group Pediatrics Clinic with the support of the pediatricians who recognized the need for nutrition for families served by the clinic. As children grow and develop, they need important nutrients to be strong and healthy. Some of the benefits of healthy eating include:

  • Stable energy
  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Improved mental health: Makes us think clearly and be more alert
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent chronic diseases

If patients of any age do not have access to adequate nutrition, they cannot move forward on their journey toward healing and health. Patients without adequate nutrition are more likely to return to the hospital. These efforts are not to just solve the issue of needs for food for two days but to connect patients with resources like Catholic Charities that can remove food insecurity from their life.

SSM Health is investing $50,000 in the Hope and Healing Food Bag program for patients in Mid-Missouri.



About Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), an entity of the Diocese of Jefferson City, responds to the needs of people in 38 counties regardless of faith, culture, or situation. Catholic Charities provides services including mental health, housing and financial counseling, food security, health and nutrition education, disaster preparation and response, family reunification through immigration legal services, and refugee resettlement. For more information, visit cccnmo.diojeffcity.org.

Our Mission

Inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes as proclaimed by Jesus Christ, Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri is committed to providing care and creating hope for the lives of the vulnerable through compassionate social services that respect the dignity of each person and engage the local community in our mission.

For more information, visit cccnmo.diojeffcity.org

About SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City

SSM Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through a robust and fully integrated health care delivery system. The organization’s 40,000 team members and more than 11,000 providers are committed to providing exceptional health care services and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve.

With care delivery sites in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, SSM Health includes 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices and other outpatient and virtual care services, 12 post-acute facilities, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a pharmacy benefit company, a health insurance company and an accountable care organization. It is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. For more information, visit ssmhealth.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Jefferson City has been a part of the Mid-Missouri community since 1905. In 2014, the hospital moved to its new, state-of-the art facility with spacious private rooms, an expanded emergency department, an Outpatient Surgery Center and the Blessed Beginnings Family Birth Center, the premier birthing center for Mid-Missouri. The hospital has been recognized with numerous awards for its unique design based on the latest research in patient safety and efficiency of care. It also regularly receives national recognition for delivering outstanding patient experience.

For more information, visit us at ssmhealth.com/jc

All News RSS Feed Front Page News Health State News Wednesday, December 13th, 2023

Reporter John Rogger