Second Harvest to Train Health Care Workers to Identify, Address Food Insecurity in Patients

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Florida Blue Foundation provides $300,000 in funding for “Screen and Intervene: Connecting Food Insecure Patients to Resources” initiative ORLANDO, Fla. (March 8, 2022) – Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida recently received a $300,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to expand hunger relief efforts by training local health care providers to screen patients for risk factors that could indicate food insecurity so they can be directed to community resources. The funding will support a three-year collaborative “Screen and Intervene: Connecting Food Insecure Patients to Resources” initiative between Second Harvest and three partners: Alliance for Community Health, the University of Central Florida and the Georgia Health Policy Center. “Affordable access to nutritious food is essential for good health. Because of the pandemic, Central Floridians who never relied on food assistance turned to Second Harvest for help providing nourishing meals to their families. But some in the community are still hesitant or may not realize the resources available to them,” said Susan Towler, Florida Blue Foundation executive director. “Equipping health care providers with the tools to identify food insecurity and connect their patients to fresh food and needed groceries is critical to our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health.” The program builds upon the work of the Health and Hunger Task Force, which was developed and introduced by Second Harvest in 2016 to learn how the food bank can work alongside community health care organizations to measurably impact community health and nutrition. “The goal is simple: to improve community health by using food as medicine,” said Karen Broussard, Chief Community Impact Officer at Second Harvest. “Research shows that many chronic illnesses can be effectively managed through proper nutrition. This funding expands our ability to effectively collaborate with and educate additional health partners and continue fighting diet-related diseases in our community.” For more information about Second Harvest and how to help hunger relief efforts, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.