The Jewish Health Resource Center (JHRC) recognized that mealtime during a hospital stay presented a challenge for patients who adhere to Jewish practices and customs. Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park, and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery are addressing this issue through a grant from the Compassionate Care Fund which is being used to enhance kosher food options across the network.

The new portable kosher carts will enable patients to be self-sufficient and support staff in meeting the dietary needs for our Jewish patients. The carts include a microwave, refrigerator, and food items that are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The cart became operational just in time for the recent high holidays. The carts were stocked with battery operated candles and grape juice to allow patients to fulfill their holiday obligations, even from the hospital.

“The fact that there is now a cart loaded with non-perishable and fresh meals provided by the community that can easily be warmed up in a kosher microwave is a game changer for observant patients,” shared Dr. Chani Yondorf, OB/GYN physician at Einstein Philadelphia and advocate for the portable kosher carts. “When you are scared or in pain and nervous about being admitted to the hospital, it makes such a difference to not have to worry about whether you or your partner will have kosher food to eat.”

These portable kosher carts help to ease the mealtime burden for observant patients and meet their hospital needs beyond medicine. The Compassionate Care Fund exists to support staff in meeting a variety of patient needs. Originally established through a generous grateful patient gift, the Compassionate Care Fund is also supported by the Adopt a Patient annual fund program.

“The support from the Compassionate Care Fund for these carts shows patients that we care about their entire hospital experience,” explained Dr. Yondorf. “It’s not just about ensuring that they stay safe and healthy, but also making sure that they are comfortable during their most valuable times.”

The Compassionate Care Fund is proud to support the portable kosher cart program and continue to enhance the hospital experience for patients in need. Learn more about how to request assistance from the Compassionate Care Fund here.

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