AKRON – State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) joined the leadership from Akron Children’s Hospital and the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank to announce the Akron Children’s Hospital Food Farmacy and Education and Wellness Garden. The Food Farmacy is an Ohio Department of Medicaid grant funded pilot program that supports Summit County hospitals to open food pantries that offer fresh produce and food to food insecure patients with chronic diseases. The funding for the program was secured by Rep. Sykes through an amendment to the state budgets in Fiscal years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The total appropriation is one million dollars.
“The connection between the necessity to have access to quality food and optimal health is undisputed, especially for growing children in our community,” said Rep. Sykes. “I am very excited that these funds will encourage health and wellness while also helping provide a basic need to members of our community, particularly at a time when so many people are struggling to afford the rising costs of food.”
The Food Farmacy is a collaboration between Akron Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General and SUMMA Health and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Cleveland Clinic Akron general opened their food pantry doors last month and SUMMA health is expected to open later this month.
Pictured in the Education and Wellness Garden: Bernett Williams, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for Akron Children’s, Dan Flowers, CEO of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Mike Folino, Akron Children’s Director of Support Services, and Lisa Orileo, COO of Akron Children’s.