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When Hunger in America was released a few years ago, the study found households relying on Harvesters may face challenges related to their health – challenges including poor health, chronic diseases, unpaid medical bills, or having to choose between buying food or paying for medications.
Seeing these health challenges within their client populations, many Public Health departments have begun offering mobile food distributions containing healthy food. The Clay County Public Health Department, working with Harvesters, began its monthly mobile food distribution a few months ago to help its clients receive the healthy food they need.
Katlyn D. and her two children, Carly and James, are one family receiving food from the Clay County mobile. “Harvesters has helped me fill my frig with healthy food,” said Katlyn. “We also use WIC, but you can’t get all this healthy produce with it,” she added. Two-and-a-half-year-old Carly was especially excited to see they could take a watermelon home.
On the day Katlyn visited, 73 other households also came to the mobile and took home potatoes, seedless watermelon, carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers. In addition, the health department’s nutrition team showed clients how to make a pasta salad using some of the produce.
In addition to Public Health departments recognizing the need to get healthy food to clients, some doctor offices also offer mobile food distributions. Earlier this year, Harvesters, Humana and the Sunflower Medical Group joined together to establish a monthly mobile food distribution at the medical group’s Heartland Primary Care practice in Kansas City, Kan.
“No patient or member of our community should have to choose between medication and food,” said Dr. Yvette Guislain Crabtree, Sunflower Medical Group’s president. “We’re proud to partner with Harvesters, Humana and its Bold Goal to improve the lives of the community and give back healthy days by launching a food distribution program that will help our patients achieve their best health.
“Helping our patients with food insecurity will help them to stay healthier and better able to take care of their overall health,” said Dr. Guislain Crabtree. “Since we started screening our patient population for food insecurity we have found many more people than we thought we would find who will benefit from this program. We don’t want people to have to choose between medication and food.”
To find a mobile food distribution, visit the Get Help section of Harvesters’ website and look for the Missouri and Kansas links in the mobile food distribution section.