The Food to Overcome Outcomes Disparities (FOOD) Program opened a new food pantry at MSK Commack on November 23, just in time for Thanksgiving. MSK Commack is the second pantry the FOOD Program started on Long Island — the first is at MSK Nassau, which opened in spring 2019 and has served more than 150 patients to date.
The FOOD program, run by the Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service (IHCD), expanded food pantries to MSK’s Long Island sites after conducting a needs assessment among patients that revealed a food insecurity rate of almost 10 percent. That means that 1 in 10 of MSK Long Island patients expressed concern over where their next meal was coming from or were opting to use their funds to pay for medications and cancer treatment-related costs rather than food. MSK Commack brings the total number of food pantries operated by IHCD across NYC and Long Island — five located at MSK outpatient facilities and eight at NYC Health + Hospitals/community partner sites. IHCD oversees, staffs, funds, and operates all the food pantries, including the partner sites that are hosted by other H+H hospitals.
The MSK Commack food pantry will be open every Monday between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm, providing healthy and nutritious food items directly to patients and families. No appointment is needed for MSK patients to participate. Caregivers and family members interested in picking up food on behalf of patients should reach out to Luke Paolantonio at 646-888-8046. Some items distributed at MSK Commack were generously donated by local Long Island charities.