In 2015, during a team meeting, Virtua Health’s Clinical Nutrition department decided to start a community event that would center around National Nutrition Month (March). Prior to this, the Clinical Nutrition team would collect food donations and deliver them to a local food bank. Because some of the team were competitive runners, they thought of creating a 5K Walk and Run – something geared for the community, and that would include food donations as part of the fee for participating. With that, “Crank the Food Bank” was born.

The Virtua Clinical Nutrition team comprises Registered Dietitians (RDs) and Dietetic Technicians Registered (DTRs). DTRs perform nutrition screenings for Virtua’s in-patient populations and provide diet education; if the patients are at a high risk for problems, RDs perform assessments and develop goals of care and nutrition support to either correct or prevent malnutrition. Clinical Nutrition serves all Virtua hospitals, with a 50+ person team dedicated to helping Virtua patients Be Well, Get Well and Stay Well.

Crank the Food Bank has grown tremendously, with the 2019 event enjoying the biggest success to date. Approximately 200 participants contributed more than 1,300 pounds of food, which was collected by the Food Bank of South Jersey and, from there, directly sent to Virtua's Eat Well Food Farmacy to benefit patients in need. Additionally, race fees have raised thousands of dollars to support Virtua Eat Well Mobile Farmers Market over the years!

Make a Gift | Learn more about Virtua's Eat Well Food Access Program