March 29, 2013
by Feeding America

During National Nutrition Month, we will be highlighting programs across our network that are finding unique ways to get nutritious foods to people struggling with hunger. This story comes from the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa, CA.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank, located in Sonoma County, Calif., is one of three food banks piloting the Feeding America Diabetes Initiative, a project funded by the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and aimed at improving the health and wellness of low-income adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank serves the entirety of Sonoma County — home to plenty of farmland and hard-to-reach rural communities. To serve people in these areas, Redwood Empire Food Bank decided to bring the project to them with a mobile pantry . It outfitted a van to visit sites throughout the county — conducting diabetes screenings, providing nutrition education and distributing boxes of diabetes-appropriate foods.

Other aspects of the initiative include connecting people with local healthcare providers, offering diabetes management courses and cooking classes. Through the launch of this project, Redwood Empire Food Bank hopes gain understanding about the connection between food insecurity in diabetes. It also hopes to help lower the disease in Sonoma County, and help those already diagnosed not just survive, but thrive.

Tags: Food Bank Network , Redwood Empire Food Bank

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