BMC’s Rooftop Garden Fills Prescription for Nutritional Food




When an overwhelming number of patients told their Boston Medical Center physicians that they were having trouble affording nutritional food for their families, BMC opened the doors to the Preventative Food Pantry in 2001.

Today the pantry supplies over 50,000 pounds of food per month to more than 1,800 families in the Boston area community. Donated by a number of different organizations, the Greater Boston Food Bank provides the majority of the food with 12,000 pounds of food each week, while a garden on the hospital’s rooftop, run by the Boston Natural Area Network, supplies the Food Pantry with fresh produce.

To access the service, BMC patients must obtain a referral through a screening process performed by their BMC primary care physician which includes an individual’s special nutritional needs and the number of people in their household. Every time a patient visits the food pantry, a note is made in their medical record. “This is a way for providers to see when a patient has visited or not,” said Latchman Hiralall, food pantry manager. “It’s not just about giving out food; the pantry is a part of their medical care here at BMC.”

BMC’s Demonstration Kitchen accompanies the Food Pantry and educates patients about how to cook nutritional meals at home. Tracey Burg, a registered dietician and nurse, provides tips on how to cook healthy recipes and runs classes for people with diabetic, cardiac and hypertension issues, as well as pregnant women and those fi ghting obesity.

To learn more about the Food Pantry and Demonstration Kitchen, visit bmc.org/nutritionresourcecenter/foodpantry.htm.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Habit-Forming Farmers' Market

Growth in farmers’ markets has skyrocketed in Massachusetts from 130 markets to 250 since 2007.

Why Vegan?

Too often human beings fail to see the interconnection that exists between the non-human animals and the environment that surrounds us.

Seafood Matters and Whales Do, Too

A growing number of seafood labeling programs are identifying sustainably sourced fish in an effort to help consumers make informed choices to protect the environment.

Support Mandatory GMO Labeling in Massachusetts

Legislators need to hear from many more constituents so they will prioritize and bring GMO labeling up for a full vote this session.

Lessons in Mindful Living from China

In addition to paying attention to the quality of the food we eat, the manner in which we consume it and the tone and pace of daily life can greatly affect health and well-being.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Volunteer Host Families Needed for Fresh Air Fund this Summer

Each summer, thousands of inner-city children visit suburban, rural and small-town communities across 13 states and Canada through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program.

Studio Audience Members Wanted for Cooking Show

Eat Well Be Happy cooking show is produced and recorded in Debra Stark’s home kitchen in Acton with the crew from the kitchen at Debra’s Natural Gourmet.

Spring Specials at New Organic Hair Salon in Westford

Ali Bourgault, owner of A Healing Vibration Wellness Center and Emporium, in Westford, has opened the Charlë Rose Hair Spa at the center.

Oil Bust Could Mean Clean-Tech Boom

The most recent oil market plummet has been a missed opportunity to lay the groundwork to move our economy away from fossil fuels.

Nicholas Dodman Speaks about Separation Anxiety in Dogs

World-famous animal behaviorist, Dr. Nicholas Dodman, will speak about separation anxiety in dogs on April 13.

Groton Wellness Welcomes Dr. Daniel Cagua-Koo as Medical Director

Dr. Daniel Cagua-Koo is certified by the Family Medicine Board and specializes in biotoxin illnesses, chronic heavy metal burdens, environmental toxicity and mold, among other issues.