Food hampers are being prepared for patients in need as part of a nutrition awareness week at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust’s Patient Experience Team is collecting donations of tinned and dried foods and the Salvation Army’s Blackpool branch is making up the hampers during Nutrition and Hydration Week 2016.
Donations of tinned soup, cuppa soups, baked beans, tinned fruit, bags of dry pasta and rice, tinned tomatoes, instant mashed potato, tinned meat, tinned sponge puddings, small cereal boxes, teabags, coffee sachets and UHT milk will be gratefully received.
Each hamper contains enough food for three meals and members of staff will identify patients who could benefit from them.
The Patient Experience Team will be on the mezzanine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital today (Thursday, March 17) collecting food donations. Donations can also be made on other days by calling the team on the number below.
Helen Kay from the Patient Experience Team said: “The hampers can be given to a patient of any age who is being discharged and who staff feel is in need of a hamper.
“There is no criteria attached as we feel staff are best placed to decide which patients would benefit from having a food hamper.
“Sometimes patients who have been in hospital for a few weeks have nothing in their house to eat when they get home.
“We had a food collection at Christmas as well and it was a huge success. We’ve already received some donations and we are hoping for more.”
Beverley Taylor, from the Salvation Army’s Bridge Project at The Citadel in Blackpool, said: “I think this scheme is brilliant.
“When some patients come out of hospital their benefits have been stopped and they have nothing.
“The hampers will have enough food for three meals and if people need more support they can come to see us at the Bridge Project at The Citadel in Blackpool and we will give them more food.
“We are the ‘next of kin’ for some people when they are in hospital and staff contact us to let us know about people who need our support.
“It’s really good to have that contact. You never know when hampers are going to be needed so it’s good that they are available.
“At some point I’d like to produce a simple cookbook so people who receive the hampers can make the most of them.
“We offer cookery classes at The Citadel so people can learn to make nutritious meals and work out how to budget. We also have Maths and English classes.
“People come to us and they are so hungry. They don’t always know how to budget or how to cook basic meals.”
Staff can request food hampers for patients by contacting the Patient Experience Team on 01253 955520, 953548 or 955648.
Anyone who would like help from the Salvation Army can pop into the Bridge Project at The Citadel, Raikes Parade, Blackpool, FY1 4EL, 01253 299 835.
For all media enquiries please contact Ingrid Kent, communications support officer, on 01253 95 68 75 or Ingrid.Kent@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk