Cleveland Clinic Akron General Food Pantry: Food as Medicine in Healthcare Spotlight

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

What they do: The newly opened food pantry at Cleveland Clinic Akron General is providing free food to patients at the Center for Family Medicine who are experiencing food insecurity. At their appointments, patients are asked:

  • if they have been worried about their ability to buy food in the past 12 months, or
  • if they ran out of food and didn’t have money to buy more in the past 12 months.

If patients answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, they are given access to the food pantry and can use it as often as they need. The pantry offers primarily nonperishable food items, such as canned meats, canned vegetables and fruit, beans, rice and cereal, and will soon offer refrigerated and frozen items as well.

The pantry is open Monday through Friday, from 9am to noon and 1pm to 3pm. To date, the pantry is serving an average of six families per week.

Eventually, it is expected that the pantry will be able to serve more outpatients, as well as inpatients who are being discharged.

How they do it: Funding for the pantry was secured by State Representative Emilia Sykes through a grant supporting food-insecure patients with chronic disease in Summit County, Ohio. Food for the pantry is provided by the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, which delivers food that is ordered by the Pantry Coordinator weekly. Employees and community members also support the pantry with food and monetary donations.

The pantry’s coordinator, Morgan Stocker, works with the patients’ physicians and the hospital social worker to help address patients’ dietary and social needs.

Mission:  To provide comprehensive medical, nutritional, and lifestyle support to individuals experiencing food insecurity and chronic illness.

Major Funding: Ohio Department of Medicaid grant to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: $90,000

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect the food system: Many people experiencing food insecurity have to rely on buses or rides from family and friends for transportation. This program allows participants to leave with food at the end of their appointment without having to organize another ride to receive the resources they need. Many local pantries are only open during limited hours, often only a couple times a month. The Cleveland Clinic Akron General Food Pantry is open five days a week so that even if participants do not have a medical appointment, they can easily come to the pantry at their convenience.


Cleveland Clinic Akron General, First Floor
1 Akron General Ave
Akron, OH 44307

Core Programs: Food pantry

Number of staff: 1

Number of volunteers: 3

Areas served: Akron, Ohio

Year Started: 2022

Pantry Coordinator: Morgan Stocker

Contact Information:

Learn More:

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