Last week, Grady Health System’s new Jess Hill Market opened to offer fresh, nutritious food for patients, staff and the surrounding community. Located on the ground floor of the hospital’s parking deck, the market not only provides food but also cooking education as a part of Grady’s Food as Medicine program.
“Our Food as Medicine program has proven very successful in helping patients with certain chronic conditions improve their health,” said John Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System. “The opening of the Jesse Hill Market allows us to expand this important nutritional service in a space that’s easy for our patients to access.”
“Patients with food prescriptions will be able to pick up fresh produce just feet away from our clinic building entrance. There will be cooking classes so that patients can learn how to prepare great tasting healthy meals. Plus staff, guests, and even people working close by can stop in for healthy meal and snack options.”
The Jessie Hill Market was made possible by a joint fundraising campaign by Grady, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Open Hand Atlanta.
These community organizations worked together to provide support for the market’s construction and secured funds that will go toward the first three years of the program’s operating costs from individual and corporate donors, as well as support from other foundations.
The Atlanta Food Bank and Open Hand Atlanta have contributed fresh produce, shelf-stable items, healthy snacks, and grab-and-go meals to the market.
“We are proud to partner with Grady and Open Hand Atlanta on this innovative Food as Medicine project,” said Kyle Waide, President and CEO of Atlanta Community Food Bank.
“We know how important food is to health and wellness, which is why this work is more critical than ever. Poor health and hunger are deeply connected; the exceptional work being done here will have a marked impact on the lives of many Grady patients by improving access to nutritious food.”
In addition to providing healthy food to the Jess Hill Market, The Food Bank has stepped in to connect patients to critical benefits, such as SNAP and WIC, by providing access to benefit outreach screeners.
Also, both organizations contributed to the overall design and operations of the market.
“Open Hand has worked alongside Grady Health System and the Atlanta Community Food Bank for decades to help our community address one of key social determinants of health – access to healthy food,” said Matt Pieper, Executive Director of Open Hand Atlanta. “So the Food as Medicine project is perfectly aligned with both our collaborative spirit and our ultimate mission.” “
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide Grady patients and staff easy access to healthy, delicious, affordable menu options in the café at Jesse Hill Market through our social enterprise brand, Good Measure Meals. And we look forward to working together to finally break the devastating link between food insecurity and poor health in our community.”
The Jesse Hill Market is open Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fresh produce is provided to Grady patients who meet qualifications and receive food prescriptions through the Food as Medicine program.