Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Provides Meals through USDA Summer Food Service Program
Today, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital announced its participation in the USDA Summer Food Service Program to provide meals for kids. The Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Pediatric Clinic on Goodwood Boulevard is the first Louisiana hospital-affiliated clinic selected to serve as a meal distribution site for children 18 and younger.
“The Our Lady of the Lake Pediatric Clinic on Goodwood was selected by the USDA as part of a pilot program to better connect our efforts in healthcare with the nutrition needs of children,” said Scott Wester, chief executive officer of Our Lady of the Lake.
Each meal is prepared by Our Lady of the Lake Food and Nutrition Services at the Regional Medical Center campus, and delivered to the clinic daily. More than 5,500 pediatric patients visit the clinic per month for doctor’s appointments, diagnostic lab work, and physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Through the program, children ages 18 and younger receive a meal when they come for an appointment at the clinic.
“It is through programs like this combined with strong healthcare services and resources that we can really make a difference for children in our community,” said Wester. “Our Children’s Hospital’s mission is to serve the whole needs of children and that starts with proper nutrition.”
The meals provided follow the USDA My Plate Food Pyramid guidelines, and include whole grains, fruit and vegetables. In addition to appropriate servings from each food group, meals are served with educational materials for families about health, nutrition and active lifestyles. All meals include milk provided by Kleinpeter Dairy or water. Cooler bags for milk storage were provided by Southeast United Dairy Association.
“One of the goals of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is to help kids stay healthy. The education provided with each meal helps the child and the parents or caregivers to better understand how nutrition and active lifestyles contribute to overall health,” said Shaun Kemmerly, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. “When kids are healthy they are able to enjoy play time and normal childhood activities, and during the school year they can stay in school and learn. The result is the formation into young adults who develop to their full potential and contribute back to our community.”
The Our Lady of the Lake Pediatric Clinic on Goodwood is one of several participating locations throughout the city. A complete list can be found on http://www.healthybr.com/healthy-eating/summer-food-service-program.aspx.
At Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital our patients and their families are cared for with dignity, respect and compassion - where advanced pediatric medical treatment is delivered with sincere love, affection and appreciation for children and their special needs.