A.O. Fox Hospital as part of Bassett Healthcare Network, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 6 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tri-Town campus location to open its new Food “Farmacy” program.

According to a press release from Bassett Healthcare Network, under this program, patients can receive emergency food, education, and navigation services. Fox has partnered with a number of local businesses and food pantries for supplies, including Price Chopper, Great American, Hannaford, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Pathfinder Mobile Grocery, and others for this pilot program at Sidney Primary Care.  Patients will need a referral based on key social determinants or diagnoses that place patients at risk for food insecurity. Patients who are given referrals will also receive education and resources from a care team and have the opportunity to obtain groceries based on their medical conditions and household needs, and connections to outside resources that provide lifestyle tools. Fox’s Food Farmacy will stock healthy perishable and non-perishable goods, fresh produce, and more.

According to Feeding America, it is estimated that more than 8,400 people in Delaware County suffer from hunger; more than 1,800 of those struggling are children. In Chenango County, over 19 percent of children experience hunger every day, which equates to roughly 2,000. Food insecurity has negative long-term effects on an individual’s health, placing them at greater risk for serious health conditions, especially if they have already been diagnosed with a chronic disease like diabetes, hypertension, COPD, depression, and more. In children, hunger can lead to growth impairment, poor academic performance, behavioral issues, sickness, social disorders, and more.

Fox’s program aims to decrease area food insecurity by 25 percent and increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications by 25 percent.