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Hospital cafeterias begin offering grocery staples

On Tuesday, Ascension Via Christi St. Francis' hospital cafeteria began stocking grab-and-go grocery items, providing associates convenient access to kitchen staples they may need at home but are finding in short supply at area stores.

It's an initiative that rolled out at St. Francis and soon will be expanded to all Ascension Via Christi's hospital cafeterias.

"Everybody on our team thought it was a great idea," says Shawn Chambers, director of Nutrition Services for Ascension's Kansas market. "We all want to pitch in and do what they can to be a good partner for our caregivers and this was one way we could do that."

Initially, the cafeterias will be stocking kitchen staples such as bread, milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables, pastas and condiments. 

"We're also working on being able to offer paper products, such as toilet paper and paper towels," says Calvin Poe, regional director of operations for Touchpoint. Other items such as family-sized pre-packaged meals is another option being explored.

"It's going to happen," says Poe. "We're just working through the details so we can make life easier for associates."

The idea, which originated at Dell Seton Medical Center in Texas, quickly is being adopted by other Ascension ministries wanting to help associates having to go from store to store to find what they need.

"It's kind of different, but they all seem to appreciate not having to go to the store after work," says cashier Daniela Reyes, adding that bread and potatoes were the big sellers of the day.

About Roz Hutchinson

Roz Hutchinson is a Wichita wife, mother and chief spoiler of six grandkids and three Chihuahuas, a die-hard women's basketball fan, and director of Communications and Public Relations for Ascension Via Christi.