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The Intersection of Health & Hunger

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Why nutrition matters?

The Food Bank's Role in Community Health

Second Harvest Food Bank recognizes 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 view our Health and Hunger in Central Florida infographic.

Health and Hunger Task Force

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 2016, 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. 

Healthy Pantry Network

One of the ways Second Harvest is incorporating the health of the community into its core work is through the development of the Healthy Pantry Network. By leveraging our large network of feeding programs, a group of pantries are participating in capacity building efforts that allows them to provide healthier foods and nutrition education for people referred from clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices. View current list of pilots and programs co-created with Health and Hunger Task Force members.

Better Early Care and Education Meals 

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. View the tool kit for Better Early Care and Education Meals.

Partner Feeding Programs

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:

Amanda Sintes, MPH
Community Health and Nutrition Program Manager
Phone: 407-514-1023 Email: asintes@feedhopenow.org

Hunger In Our Community
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