The Intersection of Hunger and Health

Those who are food insecure:

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Are at increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

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Face increased stress, impacting ability to care for self, perform well at work and at school. 

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Often skip medication refills or clinic visits, complicating health management.

The Result: Higher Healthcare Costs

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*Estimated additional annual healthcare cost (above regular healthcare experience) per person versus food-secure person.

Harvesters’ Response

  • Screen and Refer: Harvesters works with physicians’ offices, clinics and hospitals to screen patients for food insecurity and provide information on food assistance resources.
  • Prescriptive Pantries – Harvesters helps partner organizations set up pantries where the healthy choice, is the easy choice. There are two pantry options available:
        – Onsite Pantry: Partners can acquire healthy food from Harvesters to stock their on-site pantry.
        – Healthy Pantry Staples Kits: Harvesters provides shelf-stable kits with healthy staple items that are created for people with chronic illness, like diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Pop-up Produce Distributions – Harvesters provides fresh produce to healthcare partners to distribute to patients and the public.
  • SNAP Assistance – Harvesters’ SNAP Outreach team helps people learn if they qualify for SNAP benefits and helps file applications.
  • Nutrition Education – Harvesters’ nutrition team works with our network of pantries to educate staff, volunteers and clients on choosing healthy food and cooking healthy meals. We also provide them with resources like nudges, demos and recipes.
  • Meals for Kids – Harvesters partners with schools, libraries, clinics, and other organizations in eligible communities to provide free after-school and summer meals for children age 1-18.    


Feeding America Hunger and Health site
Healthcare Costs of Food Insecurity – Tableau Public Dashboard

More Information or to Participate

If you are a healthcare provider and would like more information or are interested in participating in Harvesters’ Hunger to Health initiative, please contact Jessica Kejr, Director of Programs and Client Collaboration, at