LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — More than a million people here in our state are hungry tonight according to the group Feeding America. Sparrow Hospital nurses say 1 in 5 pregnant women across the country don’t have access to affordable healthy foods.

“As providers, we assume that when we tell moms to eat a nutritious diet that they know what that means, as well as they have availability or access to the food. So we’re going to help a little bit in that as much as we can to combat this,” said Toniye Johnson, Sparrow Hospital Director of Women Services.

They’re doing this through the new mom food insecurity program.
“It is very important because it’s not only the pregnant woman it’s her family. If she doesn’t know how to cook or doesn’t know a traditional diet how can she teach her family and her children,” said Johnson.

There’s only one requirement, you have to be pregnant.
“A mom just has to tell us she needs food for her family no questions asked. We’ll give them a phone number and we’ll get it started,” said Johnson.

Each family will receive a cookbook, crockpot, and health foods including meats and dairy from the Greater Lansing Food Bank. The amount will vary based on family size.

” Time is of the essence so if you can just throw everything in a crockpot and have a nice nutritious meal for your family. We’re hoping that if we can combat that at any point in a lifetime it will last for generations to come,” said Johnson.

Sparrow hopes to expand the program to the entire community but the next group they hope to help are patients with chronic illnesses.

“Such as hypertension and diabetes, will be our start because their diet is such an impact to their disease process,” she said.

If you’re a pregnant mother interested in this program you can contact your Sparrow OB/GYN.