CHOP launches new 'pharmacy' program that treats food as medicine

Hadas Kuznits
January 23, 2019 - 2:22 pm
CHOP Healthy Weight Program

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is opening a new feature of their Food Lab program with the launch of a new program to promote nutrition and address food insecurity.

"We’re calling it a 'food pharmacy,' different than a food pantry. We’re actually seeing food as medicine," said Dr. Saba Khan, director of the food pharmacy. 

CHOP Healthy Weight Program
Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

She says nutritionists involved with the program will not only be distributing healthy food but also looking at some of the social determinants of the health of their patients.

"We’ve been talking the talk for a while, and then we’re looking at why patients don’t have good health outcomes, and it’s because we’re not looking deep enough," she said.

Brooke Belle is a mom whose family is one of the first participants of CHOP’s Food Lab program. She says people are forced to make cheaper, poorer choices when the budget doesn’t stretch to cover food for the whole month; but she points out there was a time when her family was doing just fine.

"But then, when my husband got cancer, that is crazy, and people don’t understand how you get to this point," she siad. "The state literally makes you liquidate everything you have. Then, you can apply for medical and food stamps."

CHOP Healthy Weight Program
Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio