Hunger does not exist in a vacuum.
Households facing hunger are also often struggling to meet other basic needs, such as paying for utilities, housing, education, transportation and medical care. Having to make the impossible choice between paying for food or another basic need, especially medical care, can leave someone with a chronic, diet-related disease without the proper resources to manage their disease.
With 58 percent of households served by the Feeding America network reporting at least one member with high blood pressure, and 33 percent reporting at least one member with diabetes, it is essential that Feeding America focuses on addressing the intersections of hunger, nutrition and health.
We are conducting research to better understand these intersections and determine how we can help people access the food and health resources needed to manage their health. We are learning how to best promote the wellbeing of the people we serve by distributing nutritious foods and engaging in innovative nutrition education programming.
An overview of this work, healthy recipes, hundreds of educational resources and programmatic materials are available on Feeding America’s new online resource, www.HungerandHealth.org. The site launched in February 2017 in response to the increased focus people are placing on hunger relief, and it aims to educate, connect and engage people interested in learning more about hunger, nutrition and health. Feeding America is using HungerandHealth.org to provide a one-stop-shop for informational and application-based content to the general public and professionals, including researchers, nutritionists and health practitioners. You can also learn about local initiatives on the blog!
Feeding America continues to increase the distribution of healthy food to communities across the country and engage through research, partnerships and advocacy. Please join us. Together we can end hunger, while promoting health!
Jessica E. Hager, External Engagement Manager of Community Health and Nutrition, has worked at Feeding America since June 2012. She manages HungerandHealth.org, and engages with national partners focused on food insecurity and health. This has included initiatives surrounding health research and promotion, and initiatives with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, USDA’s MyPlate and Enroll America.