MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota medical center has one of the nation’s first hospital-based food pantries.

Hennepin County Medical Center pediatrics physician Diane Cutts often treats families struggling with hunger. She helped the hospital launch the food shelves about a year ago, so her patients could walk out the door with bags of nutritious food in addition to any prescriptions or doctor’s orders.

Cutts is a leading researcher on child hunger and co-authored a study that found children in families that don’t have enough good food are at greater risk for developmental delays, including language and coordination.

Minnesota Public Radio News says Cutts is trying to expand the food pantry and find a way for doctors at the hospital to write prescriptions for food.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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