Brief Building Health System Partnerships to Combat Food Insecurity
Insights from Grantees of the Walmart Foundation Healthier Food Access Program
Eona Harrison, Clare Salerno
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Almost 35 million people experience food insecurity in the United States. Individuals experiencing food insecurity are at greater risk for poor physical and mental health than those who are food secure. Given the association between food insecurity and adverse health outcomes, many health providers and community advocates are calling for a “food-as-medicine” approach. This approach falls into the growing understanding that social factors, separate from medical care, affect individual and community health outcomes, more commonly referred to as the social determinants of health (SDOH). This brief presents considerations for engaging the SDOH for pairing health care and food insecurity initiatives, offers approaches to overcome barriers to collaboration, and draws on the Walmart Foundation’s Healthier Food Access program grants to spotlight real-life efforts of health care systems and food access partnerships working to reduce food insecurity.

Research Areas Health and health care Social safety net
Tags Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Social determinants of health
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center