ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico leads the nation in child hunger rates, with one of every four children at risk of childhood hunger and food insecurity. In response to this continued need, Presbyterian is expanding programs to provide free meals for more children at area hospitals.
Starting June 3, Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center in Santa Fe began offering free meals for children, joining five Presbyterian hospitals that already provide free meals for kids both during the school year and throughout the summer. In addition, summer meal hours have expanded at other sites.
Since the free meal program began in 2016, Presbyterian Healthcare Services has provided more than 37,500 healthy meals to children. The program provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to children visiting hospitals as part of Presbyterian's partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA) Southwest Region and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).
"We are thrilled to partner with CYFD and USDA to begin offering this program in Santa Fe," said Victoria Sainz, food services manager at Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center. "By providing free healthy food for children, we will do our part to help them thrive."
The USDA operates the federally-funded, state-administered Child and Adult Care Food Program during the school year and the Summer Food Service Program in the summer. Presbyterian hospitals provide select healthy options and receive reimbursement from the USDA. Meals and snacks must be eaten at hospitals.
While most sites are in partnership with USDA and CYFD, Lincoln County Medical Center supports the program on its own.
Improving access to healthy food is a priority at Presbyterian. In addition to the free meal program, Presbyterian has a Food Farmacy that provides free food for select patients in need, and offers the Healthy Here Mobile Farmers Market and a Fresh RX program that provides "prescriptions" for produce.
"At Presbyterian, our purpose is to improve the health of the communities we serve," said Leigh Caswell, Vice President, Community Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services. "We are proud to offer free healthy food to more children, in more communities across New Mexico."
Lincoln County Medical Center
- Daily: meal noon - 1:30 p.m.
Plains Regional Medical Center
- Daily: meal and snack 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital
- Daily: breakfast 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
- Daily: lunch 11 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
- Daily: breakfast 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
- Daily: supper 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center
- Daily: breakfast: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
- Daily: lunch: 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Socorro General Hospital:
- Daily: lunch and snack 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of nine hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state's largest private employer with more than 13,000 employees.
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