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DANVILLE, Pennsylvania – Geisinger Children’s Hospital Janet Weiss received an $85,000 grant from Rite of Help for a Healthy Future designed to help expand equitable care and improve health outcomes for children in underserved and vulnerable areas.

The Children’s Hospital will partner with Geisinger Pedias and Geisinger’s Fresh Food Farmacy to develop a pilot program that will increase access to food for patients ages 6 to 17. Fresh Food Farmacy uses a food-as-medicine approach to treat food insecure adults with type 2 diabetes by providing patients and families with education and enough fresh food for 10 meals a week.

The pilot program will focus on primary prevention—intervention before health effects occur—and, unlike Fresh Food Farmacy, no clinical diagnosis will be required to participate. Patients will be enrolled based on household screening for food insecurity and the willingness of the child and family to participate. The program will also seek referrals from Fresh Food Farmacy patients who have children in their households. Its goal is to serve 75 families and conduct a thorough analysis for a possible recurrence in Geisinger’s large, predominantly rural service area.

“This grant will greatly impact our ability to create an innovative program that addresses the social determinants of health in the communities we serve,” said Jackie Seidel, director of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at Geisinger. “We are grateful for Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital for its longstanding relationship with Rite Aid Healthy Futures and the continued support they provide to CMN hospitals.”

The funding comes from the Healthy Futures Connecting Communities subscription initiative and is part of a total $3 million investment in more than 30 children’s hospitals serving Rite Aid communities.

The initiative will support a wide range of hospitals and their community programs in 15 states. Funded programs focus on identifying food insecurity, food distribution and nutrition education and aim to remove barriers that prevent communities from achieving health and well-being.

Children’s Hospital has previously used Healthy Futures funding to develop emergency preparedness programs to train families and professionals to work with children with special needs.

Grants funded through Rite Aid Fundraising KidCents program. Generous Rite Aid customers can round up their online or in-store purchases to support children’s health and wellness. Healthy Futures reinvests in Rite Aid communities through programs such as Connecting Communities.

“Expanding peer-to-peer care doesn’t start in the emergency room. It starts in our neighborhoods,” said Matt DeCamara, chief executive of Rite Aid Healthy Futures. “While the needs are great, the opportunities for progress are also great. Children’s hospitals already play a critical role in providing life-saving health care, and many of these institutions have developed effective programs to serve children, families and communities in ways that go beyond traditional medical care. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has what they need to live longer, healthier lives.”

About Rite Aid Healthy Futures
Rite Aid Healthy Futures, formerly known as The Rite Aid Foundation, is a public benefit organization dedicated to driving change in communities with a focus on low-income neighborhoods and a focus on health, well-being, race and equity. Together with our donors, Rite Aid employees, community partners and neighbors, we are helping to uplift local communities through caring actions and investments that make a real difference in people’s lives. Healthy Futures is proud to partner with Rite Aid, which provides a wide range of family-friendly health products and services at over 2,000 retail pharmacies in 17 states. Visit www.RiteAidHealthyFutures.org To learn more.

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