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Babies benefiting from Children's/Freestore program


A pilot collaboration between Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Freestore Foodbank is making a difference for under-nourished babies in its first two-years, as reported in the online journal Pediatrics.

The problem:

The Keeping Infants Nourished and Developing (KIND) started after researchers at Children's published data showing that 30 percent of households with infants receiving primary care at Children's Pediatric Primary Care Center (PPCC) were "food insecure." Being food insecure means not having enough food to meet basic nutritional needs. Fifteen percent said they had stretched, diluted or limited formula to make supplies last.

“KIND was designed to begin to fill the gap,” says Andrew Beck, MD, a pediatrician at the PPCC and lead author of the study. “KIND links the PPCC, which is a clinic with excellent access to food insecure households that have infants less than 12 months of age, with the Freestore Foodbank, which has great expertise and is more than willing to provide needed assistance.”

The solution appears effective It has:

  • Reached more than 1,000 families
  • Provided supplementary formula
  • Gotten people to do lead poisoning test and screening
  • Prompted well-infant visits by 14 months
  • Referred them to social workers and Legal Aid

“Providing proper nutrition to babies is imperative to helping their development and mental health,” said Kurt Reiber, president and CEO of the Freestore Foodbank and a co-author of the study. “KIND is working to help minimize food insecurity among infants in the communities where we live and work and helping to give them a chance at a brighter future.”
KIND has spread to include five other primary care centers, including one Cincinnati Health Department clinic, two federally funded health caners  in the area and a suburban site. KIND is funded by a grant from Procter & Gamble's Live, Learn and Thrive initiative.