Hunger costs our nation $167.5 billion a year. There are strong associations between food insecurity and medical consequences. For low income patients with diabetes, the risk of hospitalization increases 27% during the last week of the month vs. the first week of the month. For more information on the impact of food insecurity on health, click here.
Poverty and food insecurity have serious consequences for health – today and tomorrow. Trusted professionals, like medical providers, can play a critical role in connecting eligible, low income patients with food and nutrition services and other benefits that can help move them towards food security and possible reduction in chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Why Screen Patients for Food Insecurity and Intervene?
Screening for food insecurity can identify health issues that might otherwise go undiagnosed or misinterpreted by health care providers, and connect those in need with available resources, preventing the food insecure from “falling through the cracks”.
The mission of the Screen & Intervene program is to identify food insecure families and individuals through non-traditional partnerships and help connect the food insecure to additional resources for a more comprehensive approach to health and hunger.
Responsibility of Health-Setting Partner:
1. Screen patients using 2 simple, nationally validated and widely used questions that can be added to patient check-in materials
2. Provide a simple resource handout to the food insecure identified patient, as well as a referral for additional needs
3. Offer food to food insecure identified patients that is stored on-site.
Ways To Get Involved
In order to supply clinics with chronic condition-friendly food, the food first needs to be packed into boxes. Click on “Volunteer” to learn more about how you can help the Screen and Intervene program through volunteering.
If your clinic is interested in more information about Screen and Intervene, click here.