In its quest to improve the health of under-served communities and boost nutrition for those without homes recovering from illness, National Health Foundation (NHF) is teaming up with healthy meal delivery subscription service Fitness Kitchen LA to provide food at two of NHF’s recuperative care facilities, including its soon-to-be-opened Pico-Union location in downtown Los Angeles.
NHF is one of the leading providers of recuperative care in Los Angeles County, offering those without homes a safe place to heal once they are discharged from area hospitals. Fitness Kitchen LA is one of the top nutrition-focused daily meal delivery services in Southern California, known for its high quality, fresh and affordable prepared meal program offerings.
The unique partnership allows NHF to provide nutrient-rich meals to its clients for nearly the same cost of NHF’s previous food service arrangements. Under the agreement, Fitness Kitchen LA will prepare and deliver family-style meals each day to NHF’s Pico-Union and mid-city facilities.
“NHF is committed to doing everything in our power to enhance dignity and create the conditions in which every person we serve has opportunities to thrive,” said Wade Trimmer, executive director of housing and homeless services for NHF. “Individuals who are experiencing homelessness deserve the very best. Getting the private sector and like-minded partners involved is one way of getting this done.”
“Just because you are without a home doesn’t mean you don’t deserve nutritious, healthy food,” said Fitness Kitchen LA Co-founder Tom Aaron, whose team is working with NHF to design low-cost, nourishing meal plans for its facilities. “At Fitness Kitchen LA, we are very passionate about promoting nutrition and delicious food for all, and this partnership allows us to both spread that message and give back to the community at the same time.”
NHF’s new 62-bed recuperative care Pico-Union facility is scheduled to open in October 2018, with a goal of setting a new standard for how both recuperative care and homeless shelters deliver services to clients. In addition to serving highly nutritious, family-style dining delivered by Fitness Kitchen LA, the new facility will also feature more home-like amenities such as semi-private rooms vs. dorm-style, and regular visiting hours for clients’ families and loved ones. There will be a community garden on-site that will be available to both clients and neighbors to use.
Recuperative care has been shown to be significantly more cost-effective than extended hospital stays. Homeless patients use hospitals at a much higher rate than housed patients, with lengths of hospital stays twice the average. Without a place to recover, many homeless clients end up back in the emergency room within 30 days. Recuperative care not only offsets the financial impact to hospitals, but also reduces hospital readmissions by as much as half. A hospital stay in California currently averages $3,300 per day, compared to an average of $250 per night for recuperative care.
The new NHF Pico-Union facility will be a redevelopment of a 100-year-old sanitarium currently vacant on the site. The renovation project is being done in partnership with HomeAid Los Angeles, and etco HOMES. A grand opening and celebratory block party is planned for October 12.