Allina Health employees and their families planned to pack 200,000 healthy meals on Saturday morning for local food shelves, shelters and schools.
It's important for low-income patients to nourish their bodies well to remain healthy or heal from illness -- but not everyone knows how to do that on a tight budget, said Courtney Jordan Baechler, a cardiologist and vice president of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Allina Health.
"So much of health takes place outside of our walls and clinics within the hospital," she said. "So we're trying to make sure that we do a good job of educating people on affordable ways to get healthy foods. Because there are some ways to do that -- beans are such a great example, lentils, brown rice."
Baechler added: "We want to help the local food shelves stock items that are healthy and available for people then to prepare those meals. Because that's certainly part of what we need to do to have a healthy community is to be stocking those food shelves with the right types of food."
Volunteers planned to pack meals of black beans, brown rice, corn, tomatoes and chicken to be donated to more than 75 community organizations. The donated packets will include recipes for low-cost meals.