Thrilled to be a part of Enterprise's Nurture an Idea!
September 16, 2016
More than 320,000 people in our community are food-insecure. More than 247,000 local residents turn to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and our more than 800 member agencies and programmatic partners for assistance each year. 28% of these clients are children; 23% struggle with health concerns (many food related) and 16% of these clients are senior citizens. Our new strategic plan is looking to dive deeper into these issues by developing our new Food as Medicine Initiatives. The purpose of this initiative is to provide on-going healthy and nutritious food to clients who are low-income and are diagnosed with food related illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity to improve health outcomes. We know that increasing regular access to fresh produce and nutritious perishable food can have a positive effect on the health of our clients. We are developing partnerships with healthcare institutions such as MetroHealth, University Hospitals, MedWorks, LakeHealth, and Care Alliance with a goal of reducing food-insecurity among our mutual clients, in order to have a positive impact on the health of low-income local families. These partnerships will allow healthcare providers to screen for food insecurity and then connect patients directly to a regular source of healthy, free food (either on site or with a local food program) that can be used to addresses their health concerns. We know that when someone receives a diagnosis of diabetes or hypertension they are often prescribed medication, but those prescriptions will often not help without a change in diet. We are working to help low income patients have the ability to change their diets and thus their health outcomes. Please help support these initiatives and give our neighbors the fresh fruits and vegetables they need to be healthy and happy!