Committed to the health and well being of the communities, the Food Services team at HonorHealth Scottsdale Thompson Peak Medical Center has partnered with local community programs to help provide healthy and nutritious meals to homebound elderly neighbors. The initiative, called the Mobile Meal Program, began back in 2015, as an attempt to develop interventions and improve nourishment for neighboring senior citizens. Studies show that providing a balanced intake of proper nutrition can support aging immune systems better, and can lead to quicker recovery times for those discharged from the hospitals, as well as reduce hospital admission rates.
“As a registered dietitian, the objective of our meal service program is to work with our chef, Christine Leo, on an approved monthly menu for nutritional adequacy to ensure that seniors are receiving fresh, hot and nutritious meals,” says Melissa Schmidt, network director, clinical nutrition and food services at HonorHealth. “This not only makes eating convenient for people, but can help improve nutrition outcomes as well.”
Many factors can account for inadequate nutrition and the impact plays out in many ways. Seniors who are undernourished or don’t eat enough can impact their daily health, and in cases where people are healing after a hospitalization, nourishment helps them heal faster.
The HonorHealth team preps and packages an average of 700 meals a week, which arrive hot for immediate consumption, or refrigerated for later. Community volunteers deliver the meals, making sure that residents have a hot and well-balanced meal each day. Since March, the program has cranked out an additional 100 meals a week and increased services to three area senior centers in the Scottsdale area due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We love that we’re able to provide this service to our community,” Schmidt says. “It’s so rewarding to know that some of our homebound Scottsdale neighbors are able to receive a nutritious meal from us nearly every day.”