Virtua Health Brings
through State-Led Commitment to Food Access
New Jersey Economic Development Authority sponsors new stops
for Virtua’s Mobile Grocery Store program.
(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., December 5, 2023) Virtua Health, South Jersey’s largest health system, will start bringing its acclaimed “Eat Well” Mobile Grocery Store program to Atlantic City this month. Area shoppers can buy a full range of highly affordable, healthy food – from fresh produce to meats to dairy products – twice weekly.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is sponsoring the Virtua Mobile Grocery Store’s interim expansion to Atlantic City as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s multi-faceted strategy to immediately increase food access in under-resourced communities. The program has operated in Burlington and Camden counties for several years.
The Eat Well initiative sells its items at prices far below the market average. Virtua’s program accepts EBT SNAP benefits, as well as cash and credit cards. Aboard the vehicle, Virtua staff members also answer customers’ questions about food preparation and nutrition.
“At Virtua Health, we view food as fundamental to health and wellness. Our Eat Well programs help ensure that South Jersey residents not only have access to fresh, affordable foods, but that they also receive guidance and support for embracing good nutrition as a lifestyle,” said Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president and CEO of Virtua Health. “We are honored to collaborate with Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority on this important endeavor in Atlantic City.”
Virtua’s Eat Well team will visit Atlantic City on Fridays and, starting soon, Saturdays (in addition to its existing schedule of shopping sites). Atlantic Marina and Brigantine Homes – affordable housing communities managed by The Michaels Organization – serve as the Friday host sites. (Virtua Health is also collaborating with The Michaels Organization on a first-in-the-region housing-and-health-care community in Camden; construction is underway.)
The Eat Well initiative began in 2017 with the launch of the Eat Well Mobile Farmers Market, and also includes two Food Farmacies located within Virtua medical campuses. All Eat Well programs operate year-round.
“Hunger is just as prevalent in the winter as it is during the warmer months or ‘growing season,’” said April Schetler, MS, RD, FAND, assistant vice president of community health engagement for Virtua. “Our mobile programs visit the same locations every week so that our customers know they can depend on us.
“The services we provide have a major impact on people’s lives in Burlington and Camden counties. It is a responsibility we take to heart,” Schetler added. “We are grateful for the opportunity to be a resource for Atlantic City families through the holiday season and well into the new year.”
About Virtua Health:
Virtua Health is an academic health system committed to helping the people of South Jersey be well, get well, and stay well by providing the complete spectrum of advanced, accessible, and trusted health care services. Virtua’s 14,000 colleagues provide tertiary care, including renowned cardiology and transplant programs, complemented by a community-based care portfolio. In addition to five hospitals, two satellite emergency departments, 40 ambulatory surgery centers, and more than 350 other locations, Virtua brings health services directly into communities through Hospital at Home, physical therapy and rehabilitation, mobile screenings, and its paramedic program. Virtua has 2,850 affiliated doctors and other clinicians, and its specialties include orthopedics, advanced surgery, and maternity. Virtua is academically affiliated with Rowan University, leading research, innovation, and immersive education at the Virtua Health College of Medicine & Life Sciences of Rowan University. Virtua is also affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for pediatrics. As a not-for-profit, Virtua is committed to the well-being of the community and provides innovative outreach programs that address social challenges affecting health, most notably the “Eat Well” food access initiative, which includes the unparalleled Eat Well Mobile Grocery Store. A Magnet-recognized health system, Virtua has received many awards for quality, safety, and its outstanding work environment. For more information, visit Virtua.org. To help Virtua make a difference, visit GiveToVirtua.org.