BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital has announced that they will be participating in the USDA's Summer Food Service Program.
The Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Pediatric Clinic on Goodwood Boulevard will be the first Louisiana hospital-affiliated clinic chosen to participate in the program.
"The Our Lady of the Lake Pediatric Clinic on Goodwood was selected by the USDA as part of a pilot program to better connect our efforts in healthcare with the nutrition needs of children," says Scott Wester, chief executive officer of Our Lady of the Lake.
The clinic will serve as a meal distribution site for children ages 18 and younger. The children will receive the meals when they visit the clinic for an appointment.
"It is through programs like this combined with strong healthcare services and resources that we can really make a difference for children in our community," says Wester. "Our Children's Hospital's mission is to serve the whole needs of children and that starts with proper nutrition."
Each meal will be prepared by the Our Lady of the Lake Food and Nutrition Services at the Regional Medical Center campus and delivered to the clinic daily. The meals will follow the USDA My Plate Pyramid guidelines to include full grains, fruit and vegetables as well as the appropriate serving size for each food group.
All of the meals will also come with milk from Kleinpeter Dairy or water that will be stored in cooler bags provided by the Southeast United Dairy Association.
The clinic will also give families educational materials about health, nutrition and active lifestyles.
"One of the goals of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital is to help kids stay healthy. The education provided with each meal helps the child and the parents or caregivers to better understand how nutrition and active lifestyles contribute to overall health," says Shaun Kemmerly, MD and Chief Medical Officer of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital. "When kids are healthy they are able to enjoy play time and normal childhood activities, and during the school year they can stay in school and learn. The result is the formation into young adults who develop to their full potential and contribute back to our community."
For Kemmery it's great knowing that the food service program is making an impact on hunger.
"People tell us if their child did not receive this meal at the clinic that they would have gone hungry. We hear that from many of our families. And so we felt that we are able to make an impact on hunger in our community."
To see a list off all of the locations throughout the city participating in the Summer Food Service Program visit http://www.healthybr.com/healthy-eating/summer-food-service-program.aspx.