COVID-19 Impact: Addressing Food Insecurity
If your patients have difficulty accessing healthy food due to inadequate transportation or low income, there are local resources that can help. Food insecurity can contribute to health issues like:
- Heart disease
The COVID-19 pandemic may have made this situation even more challenging for some of your patients.
We are committed to helping your patients, especially during the pandemic. Through our grant program, Blue Fund, and contributions to the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund, we’re supporting initiatives that address food insecurity across our region.
As a social determinant of health, access to food can dramatically impact your patients’ health. If any of your patients struggle with access to healthy food or getting enough food, these initiatives can help:
- Meals on Wheels – Local programs deliver meals to individuals that have difficulties leaving their homes to get meals, especially those with disabilities and elderly populations
- Field & Fork Network – With the expansion of the Double Up Food Bucks program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients can receive double the amount in benefits applied toward purchases of fresh produce
- Massachusetts Ave Project – Feeds families in need directly from their farm, conducts virtual education programs, and provides access to fresh produce through their Mobile Market program on Buffalo’s West Side
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County – The Healthy Corner Store Initiative promotes healthy choices in corner stores by increasing availability of healthy foods, providing store upgrades like extra coolers and storage options, and offering coupons for fresh produce
- Boys & Girls Club WNY Collaborative – Growing vegetables and herbs in their tower gardens (each club has one installed) and providing healthy food education with their Fearless Fridays program in clubs throughout the region
- Feed More WNY – The Food Bank and Meals on Wheels, have come together to provide expanded meal service, assistance finding local food pantries and dining sites, and nutrition assistance and education throughout WNY
For your patients that may need additional support, our health coaches are available to provide nutrition education and counseling, help manage chronic conditions and identify barriers to health.
To refer your patients, contact us at 1-877-878-8785 option 2. Our health coaches are available Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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