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New low-sodium food pantry supports heart patients in York County

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Some of the first items are pictured on the shelves of the new low-sodium food pantry supporting heart patients in York County.

Passion, inspiration and generous financial support have led to a new WellSpan low-sodium food pantry opening to serve patients in York County.

The new pantry, located at WellSpan York Hospital Preventive Cardiology, 1575 Bannister St., Suite 7, York, is now available to offer heart failure patients food they may not be able to find or afford, and to serve as an educational tool on the importance of a low-sodium diet.

“We want patients to have that ‘aha!’ moment,” said Sarah Lagrou, WellSpan clinical dietician. “People hear low-sodium and think they have to cut everything out and don’t know where to start. This will give them a chance to try foods and hopefully make changes that will stick.”

Lagrou was inspired to undertake the launching of the food pantry after noticing the success of WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital’s pantry. 

With this in mind, Lagrou turned for support to the York Hospital Auxiliary, which donated $5,000 to get the new pantry up and running.

“We are hopeful that this food pantry will improve the health of those in our community suffering from congestive heart failure,” said Alyson Bucks, president, York Hospital Auxiliary.

Others, including staff at Preventive Cardiology have also helped, including a co-worker who lent Lagrou an SUV to pick up the first stockpile of food and others who helped to unload the vehicle.

With six shelves stocked with items ranging from low-sodium cooking stock to salt-free spices and vegetables, the food pantry had already supported nearly 50 patients just weeks after opening.

“Knowing that we are helping people have a balanced low-sodium diet and getting them to embrace it, is worth it,” Lagrou said.

The new pantry is accepting food donations, but since space and need and are still being evaluated, those interested in donating food to the pantry are asked to email slagrou@wellspan.org. Interested financial donors are asked to contact the York Health Foundation at 851-3595, or email nleach3@wellspan.org

In Lancaster County, anyone interested in making a donation to WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital’s food pantry can drop off items at the Center for Heart Care, 169 Martin Ave., Suite 179, Ephrata, or send a check to the Ephrata Community Health Foundation, with “Center for Heart Care – Food Pantry” in the memo line. 

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