PCOM Healthcare Centers Takes on Food Insecurity in Philadelphia
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PCOM Takes on Food Insecurity in Philadelphia


March 24, 2023

Box full of produce, rice, and canned foodFood insecurity continues to be a nationwide issue, contributing to health inequities that disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities. Philadelphia is no exception, with nearly 250,000 individuals experiencing food insecurity and multiple neighborhoods classified as food deserts—meaning that residents of those communities do not have access to affordable, nutritious foods. For Philadelphia children, 30.9% are food insecure.

More must be done to help families access healthy and nutritious food. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is marking National Nutrition Month by highlighting the work of the PCOM Healthcare Centers to address nutrition needs and help more families get access to healthy food.

In the fall of 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, PCOM opened food pantries at two of its Healthcare Centers, starting with the Cambria and Lancaster Avenue Divisions. PCOM began this initiative in partnership with Bebashi—a full-service HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization—and has continued to expand the program.

As of today, PCOM is operating food pantries at all three of its Philadelphia Healthcare Center locations, including Family Medicine at PCOM. These food pantries are a natural extension of the college’s goal to provide access to quality health care and to respond to the vital needs of the communities PCOM serves.

To date, the food pantries at PCOM Healthcare Centers have distributed over 5,000 pounds of food to 2,433 individuals and their families. Each bag of food distributed contains a variety of staple items to help patients or members of the public feed themselves for several days. Last year, frozen protein, vegetables and fruit were added to the pantries. Each bag offered now includes a package of frozen chicken or turkey meatballs, a bag of frozen vegetables and a bag of frozen fruit.

“PCOM education is rooted in the osteopathic philosophy of caring for the whole person and addressing root causes, not just symptoms. Food insecurity is a root cause of health disparities and poor health outcomes,” said PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81. “The food pantries we operate at our Healthcare Centers reflect our mission and philosophy, and our commitment to addressing healthcare needs in the communities we serve.”

PCOM Family Medicine Healthcare Center buildingClinical services at PCOM Healthcare Centers include family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, geriatrics, psychology and osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), among other specialties. Each PCOM Healthcare Center site is equipped with a food pantry.

“We understand the challenges many families face in accessing healthy and nutritious food,” said Stephen Castellano, PCOM Chief Practice Operations Officer, who leads the Healthcare Centers. “We now have a holistic solution that brings our clinical services under the same roof as nutrition assistance for patients and families experiencing food insecurity. We are proud to connect these dots, and we look forward to helping many more families.”

PCOM Healthcare Center food pantries are made possible through generous donations, with ongoing support from the PCOM community.

Individuals and families interested in accessing food pantry services should call the PCOM Healthcare Centers main number to schedule an appointment or visit their nearest location:

Main Telephone #:

215-871-6380

Family Medicine at PCOM (City Ave Division)

4190 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
pcomhealth.org/family-medicine/

Cambria Division

2100 W. Cambria Street
Philadelphia, PA 19132
pcomhealth.org/cambria/

Lancaster Avenue Division

4148 Lancaster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
pcomhealth.org/lancaster/

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

    Contact Us

    Daniel McCunney
    Associate Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: danielmc1@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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