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CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health announces program to give Columbia families access to formula, food

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LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– Continuing its commitment to the health and well-being of the community, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health announces a new program focused on food security for children 12 months and younger under the organization’s Healthy Columbia Project. Beginning January 2, 2018, the First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative (FACE) will ensure that families with children 12 months and younger in the Columbia area have access to formula and nutritious first foods regardless of income.

The Healthy Columbia First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative is designed to supplement existing community programs, delivering access to all area residents so no child under age one experiences food insecurity. Unlike many other food access programs, the FACE Initiative does not have an income requirement and extends access to all families regardless of their income. CHI believes that financial difficulties, unexpected expenses or changes in employment can have significant impact on families and wants to ensure all families who find themselves in need have access to formula and nutritious first foods for the most vulnerable residents of the community – newborns and infants.

The First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative will be piloted in Columbia Borough through a partnership with Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services – Columbia Pregnancy Clinic and will serve all residents living in the 17512 ZIP code during its initial pilot phase. To learn more about the First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative, contact CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health at 717-397-7625 or www.healthycolumbiapa.org.

First Foods Access for Everyone is the newest initiative launched by Healthy Columbia, a project of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. Healthy Columbia is funded by CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health who has committed to investing over $2.0 million to the program over the next 7 years. Healthy Columbia programs focus on four main areas: safe homes and neighborhoods; health and well-being; early childhood experience and education; and food security and nutrition. In addition to the new First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative, current programs and initiatives of the Healthy Columbia Project include:

  • Lead-Safe Columbia: offering borough residents education about the hazards of lead paint and safety measures; home lead screening; linkage to services and resources, including financialassistance, to treat potential lead contamination; connection with physicians for lead testing for all children; and specialized support services for children with elevated blood lead levels.
  • Baby Box Program: educating families with critical information about safe sleep practices with their infant. Through the program, eligible families in the 17512 ZIP code can receive a free Baby Box to promote safe sleep. The cardboard bassinets have a firm mattress and fitted sheet, and include bodysuits, bibs, burp cloths, wash cloths, socks and a wearable
  • Immunize Columbia: through a partnership with UPMC Pinnacle, Healthy Columbia held an immunization clinic for the flu shot in 2017. Starting in summer 2018, immunization clinics will be held to ensure school-required immunizations are available to the
  • Community Engagement: events such as the recent Christmas Pancake Breakfast, attended by more than 125 individuals and families from the Columbia community, help to create a welcoming community environment for all

“Health goes beyond the clinic or the exam room. If we are going to improve the health of our community, we have to recognize the connections to life and activities within the communities we serve and become an active participant in creating the types of communities we envision. That’s what our Healthy Columbia Project is all about – creating lasting and meaningful changes in partnership with residents, businesses, organizations and the entire community,” according to Philip Goropoulos, President of CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health. “The First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative is one more example of how CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health is working with our partners to move the entire Columbia community forward.”

Healthy Columbia is a public and private collaborative of individuals and organizations dedicated to providing and coordinating the services and the investments necessary to create a thriving community in Columbia Borough that values, prioritizes and improves the health and well-being of its residents. The advisory council includes leadership from CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, including program manager Kelsey Miller, and local advisory council members including community leaders and residents. Local community member and leader Don Murphy says, “Columbia Borough is undergoing a revitalization, and I am proud to be a part of it through my business as well as through Heathy Columbia. I grew up here, and the people of this community deserve the vital programs that are now in their neighborhood thanks to Healthy Columbia.”

For more information on the First Foods Access for Everyone Initiative, Healthy Columbia or CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health, visit www.healthycolumbiapa.org or call 717.397.7625.

SOURCE: CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health