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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Q&A

A hospital pantry offers prescriptions for healthy food

In 2003, a refugee from Cameroon in central Africa arrived in Boston without food. Boston Medical Center’s Center for Refugee Health referred Emile Kamadeu to the hospital’s then 2-year-old Preventative Food Pantry. The following year, Kamadeu landed a job as a coordinator at the pantry and after receiving a college degree, now serves as a member of the hospital’s IT department. BMC president and chief executive officer Kate Walsh, who has served in the post for four years, says the pantry is continuing to grow since it was launched in 2001. At first, it provided about 500 patients a month with “prescriptions” for healthy food and resources that fit dietary restrictions and lifestyles. In October, the pantry set a new record by serving 8,036 people in a month, which it shattered last month, falling eight patients shy of 9,000.

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