Dignity Health – Northridge Hospital Medical Center (NHMC) is partnering with the American Heart Association (AHA) to be the first free, fresh produce distribution center in the San Fernando Valley. The primary goal of this initiative is to help improve access to healthy foods, while improving the overall health of the local communities.
According to the AHA, LA County is home to the largest population of food-insecure people and households in the nation, as nearly two million people in the area do not know where their next meal is coming from. Through this collaboration, NHMC has hosted a monthly, drive-thru opportunity since July 2021, serving nearly 250-300 families with each distribution. Staff and volunteers come together before each distribution to package fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthy food items for the families that drive through campus.
“We know how challenging access to healthy foods can be for many members of our communities,” says Paul Watkins, NHMC president/CEO. “By partnering with the AHA to provide free produce to vulnerable populations, we are fortunate enough to be living out our mission in improving the health and well-being of underserved and disenfranchised individuals.”
This month, in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, NHMC will be distributing a free pumpkin to each family just in time for Halloween.