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PAWS (Pantries and Wellness Support)

Penn State Health’s Department of Nursing and Penn State College of Nursing leads a high-energy, multidisciplinary team that offers health information and free health screenings at seven different food pantries in central Pennsylvania. Called PAWS (Pantries and Wellness Support), the team provides blood pressure tests, flu shots and cardiovascular disease screenings to families that visit the pantries for food assistance.

The PAWS team also connects clients to follow-up care at free clinics, Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg or their provider. Health education focuses on monthly themes like heart health, medicine safety and dental care. The team consists of clinical staff from across the organization, including the Department of Nursing, Department of Surgery, Public Health Sciences, Strategy and Penn State College of Medicine medical students.

Partner agencies include Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Penn State Extension and Hamilton Health Center.

Individuals can support the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and food pantries throughout the region via virtual food drives.