As part of its ongoing COVID19 relief and recovery efforts,
No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America, has invested $800,000 in four rural partnerships designed to increase access to healthy food for adults with children whose households experience high rates of food insecurity.
Selected Lead Partners include Communities Unlimited (Mississippi), Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance, FAST Blackfeet (Montana), and Presbyterian Community Health, in partnership with the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation (New Mexico).
These partnerships are each engaged in a community-centered approach to increasing access to food through produce RX and voucher programs in cooperation with local health clinics. The four organizations will also work together as a learning community to share best practices and to propel each other to stronger, more effective models for local adoption. “The ultimate goal of this learning community is to provide tested clinical-community food access interventions that can be leveraged in other rural areas to address food needs of families before hunger becomes a crisis,” explained Share Our Strength’s Kelleen Zubick, Director of Health Strategies.
Poverty and food insecurity can pose considerable challenges for those in rural communities and are symptoms of deeper root cause issues. Moreover, families in rural areas may face unique circumstances that contribute to and exacerbate food insecurity, including limited food retail options, transportations costs and challenges, as well as constraints in community program access and availability.
Presbyterian Community Health, in coordination with Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center and Presbyterian Española Hospital, will receive $200,000 to pilot the
Linking Families to Food in Northern New Mexico over the next two years. Presbyterian will pilot a food insecurity screen and referral program and connect patients to subsidized food bags in partnership with MoGro, a non-profit mobile grocery, community-based cooking classes in partnership with Cooking with Kids and emergency feeding and nutrition assistance information.
“At Presbyterian, we know that food is medicine and it is critical to expand access to healthy food in New Mexico,” said Leigh Caswell, Vice President, Presbyterian Community Health. “We are thrilled to receive this additional support from No Kid Hungry to help us connect patients who are experiencing food insecurity in northern New Mexico to the resources they need.”