Get to Know a Nourish Food Bank: Mobile at Mary Bridge Children’s Health Center

When you check in at MultiCare’s Mary Bridge Children’s Health Center, one of the questions you will be asked is how often you worry about your family having enough to eat.  Motivated by the results of those check-in surveys, Jamie Kautz picked up the phone and called Nourish.

Jamie, Pediatric Care Continuum Director, and her colleague, the hospital’s previous chief medical officer, came to Nourish and explained the problem. Their patients were facing food insecurity and  hunger, for people who are sick, has an even larger impact. Jamie explained, “If you have a chronic disease and poor nutrition, you will only get sicker.”

Sue Potter, Nourish’s Executive Director, shared pictures of Nourish’s mobile food bank and described the program. “We signed up on the spot.” Jamie said.

Nourish launched our mobile food bank site at Mary Bridge Children’s Health Center in September 2018. Located directly on the hospital campus in central Tacoma, it is easily accessible for patients and their families, as well as the community.

“Thanks to the relationship with Nourish, we can point them to a concrete solution to the immediate problem they are facing.” Jamie explained that some patients have started to reschedule their appointments so they can be at the hospital on the same day as the food bank. “The doctors can turn to the client and say ‘I can literally walk you right outside and get you something to help.’” Jamie said.

“After 7 years of operating one mobile unit, we were finally able to expand to add a second mobile food bank last year. It was fantastic to launch the new truck by serving at Mary Bridge. We know that hunger and health are linked and this site helps patients address both at the same time and place.” Sue said.

Nourish’s mobile food banks are full-service food banks on wheels. They provide clients with the same amount of food as if they visited one of our fixed location food banks and they use the same self-select service model. Nourish currently has seventeen mobile food bank sites around Pierce County.

To support Nourish and our mobile food banks, make a donation or sign up to volunteer.