Brattleboro Memorial Hospital was the recent recipient of a grant from C&S Wholesale Grocers, the largest food wholesaler in the United States. This grant was designated to assist in covering healthcare costs for those patients with inadequate or no insurance and whose family income is at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines for their family size. With 82% of uninsured and 61% of underinsured between the ages 19-49, this is the age where families are struggling with raising children and it is compounded by issues of paying for health care. Additionally, health care costs have increased in Vermont from 2000-2007 with insurance premiums rising 3.7 times faster than median earnings.

Food insecurity and lack of medical care are two societal problems which frequently occur together. Many low income Vermonters have to make difficult decisions between receiving medical care or paying for necessities such as food. Many of our most vulnerable patients go without needed care, including not seeing a physician when sick and not following up on recommended tests or treatment.

In fiscal year 2010, BMH provided over 1,700 patients with over $1.5 million in free care. Through partnerships with businesses like C&S Wholesale Grocers and the generosity of many in the greater Brattleboro area, BMH is able to lessen human suffering and need, and help patients free up financial resources to use on other necessities such as food.

Thank you, C&S Wholesale Grocers, for partnering again this year to help lessen the burden for those in our community who struggle with the choice of between food and healthcare.