Ascension St. Michael's Hospital, Stevens Point, 2021 Community Benefit

Meal Program Targets Hmong Families of Portage County

Volunteers prepare meals in the Farmshed kitchen
The Sib Pab (pronounced she pah) Prepared Meal program at Farmshed aims to address unmet health-related needs and enhance the health of Hmong elders and Hmong families who have family members living with a disability, by providing them with healthy, locally sourced traditional Hmong meals. 
“Hmong families are underserved by Portage County food insecurity services, leaving residents without culturally specific resources to help maintain a healthy diet,” said Margo Willard, community benefit and community health improvement lead at Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point. Healthy diets are a key indicator to maintaining healthy weight and improved mental health. 
The Sib Pab at Farmshed Prepared Meal program is a partnership between the Community Action Program (CAP) Services' Hmong Uplift program and Central Rivers Farmshed. The program prepares and delivers meals to Hmong elders and disabled residents twice per week. 
“CAP Services Hmong Uplift program identifies and refers participants to Farmshed. Meals are prepared in the Farmshed kitchen, with the help of volunteers and under the direction of our Hmong cook,” said Willard. “A bi-cultural volunteer coordinator ensures participants receive meals and evaluates the program goals and outcomes.” 
Funding from Ascension St. Michael's Hospital provided Farmshed with a base that made it easier to raise additional resources from the community, including the Sentry Foundation, Portage County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), and the Portage County COVID Relief Fund. Since beginning the program in July 2020, Farmshed has prepared and served 4,000 meals. 
A survey conducted during the month of June 2021 had the following results: 
83 percent of participants reported feeling healthier because of their involvement in this program. 
83 percent of participants reported feeling happier because of their involvement in this program. 
83 percent of participants reported stronger connections with community partners like ADRC, Farmshed and CAP Services because of their involvement in this program. 
On August 1, hospitals and clinics of Ascension Wisconsin in central and northern Wisconsin became part of Aspirus.