Freeman News

Freeman Creates Grocery and To-Go Meals for Employees

April 07, 2020

Saving Time and Preventing Stress for Staff

Joplin, Mo - Social distancing guidelines are putting limits on shopping, and for those who work in healthcare, every minute counts. On Monday, a pop-up market opened at Freeman Hospital West.

“We even have toilet paper,” says Ryan Melton, Freeman Health System Director of Service Excellence. “This helps our employees have one less stop to make on the way home.”

The mini-grocery located near the cafeteria entrance offers hard-to-get items like bread, milk, eggs and even yeast. But the support doesn’t end there.

When nurses and other staff leave a shift at the hospital, arriving home can mean first shedding clothes and showering as a safety precaution for their families, so staff can use a little help with dinner too. Freeman Health System Executive Chef Cody Dodson and his staff are filling that need with ready-to-go meals. “They sold out the first and second days we made them, so we’ve tripled the number of meals to 180.” The meals serve four people and average $15-$20 depending on the food item. “Most popular so far are the enchiladas,” said Dodson. Ready-to-go meals are also available at Freeman East and Freeman Neosho Hospital.

 “With the visitor policy meaning fewer customers, we have the time, and it is good to be able do this for our nurses and doctors on the front lines,” Dodson added. If the meals prove popular, they may become a regular offering in the cafeteria. Meals are offered for sale by 11:00 am each Monday, Wednesday and Friday for employees. The pop-up market is open to employees during normal cafeteria hours.


Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2019, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers.  U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2019.  With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit