Thursday, May 7, 2015
THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM CAN ADDRESS FOOD INSECURITY
Doctors in Arkansas are examining how they can address the food insecurity that affects their patients’ health. A recent report showed them that compared with children from food-secure families, those from food-insecure families were more likely to: have been hospitalized, have developmental delays, and be in fair or poor health. Their families were more likely to: experience fair or poor maternal health and housing and energy insecurity; forego needed health care due to cost; and be forced to decide between paying for health care or for other basic living expenses such as food, rent, or housing. The report suggests options that health care providers can pursue to address this problem, including: (1) sharing listings of food assistance programs and local resources; (2) establishing a food pantry or farmer’s market at the health facility, or partnering with an established one, to better connect patients with healthy foods; and (3) training in-house financial counselors to serve as SNAP/WIC application liaisons.
Source: Children’s Health Watch, 4/24/15, Food Insecurity and Health Care