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Second Harvest Food Bank has recognized that it has a central role to play in the health and wellness of the Central Florida community. With nearly epidemic rates of chronic disease and sky rocketing healthcare costs, access to healthy food is a critical factor in addressing those needs. As a result, Second Harvest is taking a collaborative approach with other community partners to influence the health of the communities we serve. Click here to read our nutrition position.
In 2014, Second Harvest hosted a national meeting called Making the Connection: The Food Bank’s Role in Community Health. Decision makers from the healthcare, academic, food bank and funding sectors convened for two days to plan strategies for collaborative actions to address the needs related to hunger and healthcare for our neediest neighbors.
Food insecurity has been identified as a social determinant that increases the likelihood of chronic disease among low income people and, at the same time, prevents them from effectively managing their illnesses. Since late 2015, Second Harvest has been convening the Health & Hunger Task Force, a coalition of local nonprofit healthcare providers, other nutrition and health-focused organizations. The goal of this cross sector group is to learn how the Food Bank can come alongside community healthcare organizations to measurably affect the health of vulnerable populations, using food as medicine. Click here to view our Health and Hunger in Central Florida infographic.
Several years ago, Nemours National Office of Policy and Prevention asked Second Harvest to partner on learning more about feeding healthy meals to very young children in early childcare education settings. The research project involved three pilot early childcare centers that helped us learn about the nutritional value of parent-prepared lunches versus the value of meals made fresh and delivered daily from our Meals for Good production kitchen. Click here to view the tool kit for Better Early Care and Education Meals.
Most importantly, our Partner Feeding Programs are our key stakeholders in advancing collaborative work with healthcare and other human resource partners. Our network -- the neighborhood food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, childhood feeding programs -- are asking us for help in building their capacity to more fully meet the nutrition and health needs of those they serve.
With the voice of our network of 550+ Partner Feeding Programs, we’re developing programs that increase access to healthier foods and nutrition education for 71,000 people seeking food assistance each week. To learn more about our nutrition education efforts, click here.
For more information, please contact:
Karen Broussard, MSW, LCSW
Vice President, Agency Relations & Programs
Phone: 407-514-1030 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org