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BRAFB helping patients at the UVA Kidney Center

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is providing nutritious groceries to patients at the University of Virginia Kidney Center. Patients suffering from food insecurity can receive 15 pounds of food per week to get through rigorous dialysis treatments.

“It’s really there on-site for patients who need it and it’s tailored to their medical needs based on the relationship that the nutritionist has with them,” BRAFB Program Coordinator Maria Bowman said.

Since March 2020, BRAFB has been delivering low-sodium and shelf-stable food to patients suffering from kidney disease.

“Patients can choose to receive the food as often as weekly or whenever they come for their appointments, and so many patients receive food weekly. Sometimes it’s a little bit more frequently or less frequently,” Bowman said.

Patients receiving this service struggle to purchase the foods they need to stay healthy. That’s why this program is a key part of their treatment.

“We have about 50 patients who have participated, and we’re really proud of that, and it seems like the other kidney center sites will have similar number of patients participating, as well,” Bowman said.

Financial contributions from community members across central Virginia made to BRAFB help to keep this program alive.

“When individuals do make donations to the food bank that allows us to purchase those healthy foods, low-sodium foods, low-salt content foods, high-fiber foods that are really useful to the programs like the food pharmacy,” Bowman said.

The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is expanding the Food Pharmacy Program to the kidney center in the Town of Orange and Zion Crossroads to help as many patients as it can.

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