KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Jadesola Akinwuntan knows medicine goes beyond visiting a doctor once a year. The third-year medical student at the University of Kansas Medical Center believes medicine includes what you eat, how you exercise, where you live and so much more.
“I think it’s been really awesome there’s been a movement in medicine to holistic health,” she said.
Akinwuntan is part of that movement. In 2020 and 2021 she helped launch a food pantry for patients at the JayDoc Free Clinic. KU medical students run and operate the clinic several nights a week at 300 Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, Kansas.
Thanks to a partnership with Harvesters — a Kansas City, Missouri, based community food network — patients at the clinic on Tuesday nights can pick out several fresh food items to take home with them. The program is called a prescriptive pantry.
“Harvesters has been an incredible partner from the beginning,” Akinwuntan said.
Second-year medical student Denise Nuchangi took over operations of the clinic’s food pantry this month.
“Medicine is that amazing career where you’re always thinking about giving back, so it just fit in to what I wanted to do,” she said.
Harvesters supports food pantries at several healthcare facilities like the JayDoc Free Clinic, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke’s Health System and soon at University Health. Hospitals and clinics are among the roughly 800 partners Harvesters supplies with food.
KSHB 41 News wants to help Harvesters buy healthy, fresh perishable food items like fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs. Our annual Fill the Fridge digital donation drive is happening this week. To make a donation, visit Harvester’s website.
Nuchangi says fruits are the most popular items at the JayDoc Free Clinic’s pantry.
“Seeing how grateful they are pushes me to continue to give them more,” she said.
This fall, Nuchangi plans to collect cold weather clothing like coats and gloves to give to patients at the clinic.