Food delivery programs address social determinants of health and food justice

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HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As a nation, we continue to ignore the significant and long-lasting economic, social and health impacts of nutritional insecurity at our peril. Suboptimal diets are a major risk factor for chronic disease. With 6 in 10 adults in the United States living with a chronic disease, nearly 20% of children under 19 suffering from obesity, and healthcare costs approaching $4 trillion, diet interventions as medicine must become a formal component of patient care.

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Food For Health SDoH Health Outcomes Infographic (Graphic: Business Wire)

“The pandemic has further compelled us to re-examine food and health systems, making this an opportune time to explore new ideas and develop creative partnerships to address suboptimal diets and widespread nutritional inequities,” said Dr. James Gillespie, director of health at Umoja Food For Health and a member of the Milken Institute’s Food Is Medicine Task Force. In their white paper Food For Health: the positive economic, medical and social impact of nutrition as an interventionDr. Gillespie and co-author Dr. Gregory Privitera from St. Bonaventure University explore key findings indicating the outsized influence of access to food and nutrition on aspects of individual and community health, and how tailored interventions to fill these gaps can have an impact. positive impact on our national health.

Lack of access to nutritious food is a key contributor to poor health and death in rural areas and communities of color, as evidenced by higher rates of the most costly and debilitating chronic diseases, including diabetes. type 2, cardiovascular disease and stroke, arthritis and the risk factors that lead to it, including obesity. Those most at risk are black or Hispanic people, who are younger, and have lower levels of education and income overall. “By making food-for-health programs more accessible; tailor-made delivery of meals, groceries and fresh products; and by providing education to foster lasting behavior change, we can change the healthcare landscape,” says Dr. Gillespie.

To manage or prevent chronic disease, to build healthier communities, to reduce healthcare costs, we need to look at overall health from a broader perspective. We need to innovate to break down barriers to nutrition and health care. And we need to roll out more food-as-medicine initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels to ensure the nutritional security of millions of Americans and address the social determinants of health.

About Umoja Food for Health

Food For Health offers meals, groceries and medically-adapted products programs that provide nutritious food and educational tools to improve health, address the social determinants of health and support the prevention or management of chronic disease. Food For Health is a division of Umoja Supply Chain Solutions. Umoja leverages decades of food and logistics expertise to solve big problems with big solutions across four core divisions – Hunger Relief, Food For Health, Third-party Logistics and Government. Umoja is mission-driven, emphasizing equity and access to quality food and health care for all.

Melissa Hunter

Food for Health, Supply Chain Solutions Umoja

(832) 968-6117

[email protected]

Source: Umoja Supply Chain Solutions