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Public Health

We’re not only committed to our mission to end hunger here, but also to bridging hunger and health in our communities.

SONY DSCGBFB’s public health efforts translate research being done in Massachusetts and across the country into evidence-based programs to support GBFB’s mission to end hunger in Eastern Massachusetts.

There is a connection between hunger and health. Without proper nutrition, the risk of obesity and other health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are higher. In our efforts to create a hunger-free Eastern Massachusetts, we are working to create awareness about the connection between hunger and health, utilizing best practices recommended by Children’s HealthWatch. Our focus is on creating partnerships with area community health centers.

Partnerships with health centers will take a three-pronged approach:

  • Launching onsite, free produce-only Mobile Markets,
  • Encouraging healthcare professionals to screen patients for food insecurity using the Hunger Vital SignTM,
  • Equipping healthcare professionals with a toolkit to best help patients that are experiencing food insecurity.

In 2001, GBFB worked with Boston Medical Center (BMC) to establish the first hospital-based food pantry in the country.

“The connection between food insecurity and health care is critical to not only identifying more people who are struggling to have enough to eat, but also supporting long-term health. Poor nutrition is often linked to many chronic diseases, which impacts one’s ability to be successful in life, work, school and beyond. It’s all connected,” said Kate Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center. “Our partnership with The Greater Boston Food Bank to open our onsite food pantry was groundbreaking – we are able to promptly refer and then connect patients directly with the healthy food they need. We are proud of this partnership and the good health care we are providing and hope others will follow the same model. ”

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