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In Revere, contact Anissa Ali:
In Chelsea, contact Manny Encarnacion: 617-887-3575
Learn more: Food for Families/Cooking Matters designed a class for hard-of-hearing patients
Hunger and food insecurity negatively impact health and are associated with a higher risk of chronic health problems. The Food for Families program, developed after a Mass General Hospital study, strives to reduce the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger among MGH Chelsea and MGH Revere patients and ultimately improve health. To achieve this goal, the program tracks the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger among primary care patients, and provides patients with concrete resources to improve their access to healthy food. A family with “food insecurity” had at least one person in the household who went hungry in the past month.
Food for Families screens patients in three health center clinical departments for hunger and food insecurity via a simple, single-question form that patients fill out while waiting for their appointments. Staff follows up with patients who screen positively for food insecurity and connects families to local nutrition resources such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamp Program), WIC, food pantries, and community meals. In addition, Food for Families works to educate providers within the health center about how food insecurity impacts MGH Chelsea patients and builds relationships with leaders in the community such as food pantry directors, social service agency staff, and SNAP benefit advocates to ensure continued access for patients seeking food resources.
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