Research shows impoverished communities often experience worse health outcomes due to social determinants and disparities in care access. According to the USDA, nearly 15% of New York City residents are food insecure. At the Washington Heights Family Health Center — part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network — staff found that nearly 30% of the families with young children who came to the clinic said they couldn’t always afford food. To address this disparity, NewYork-Presbyterian launched Food FARMacia as a pilot program in June 2019.
This mobile food market, located in front of the Health Center, is open every other Tuesday and provides a wide variety of dry goods and fresh fruits and vegetables. The program is a collaboration between NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network, CHALK (NewYork-Presbyterian’s childhood obesity prevention program) and the West Side Campaign Against Hunger. NewYork-Presbyterian hopes to continue to use health screening data to target other areas where patients experience high rates of food insecurity and expand this program in Manhattan and across communities in Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester.
To date, 42 families (approximately 190 individuals) have been registered. Families take home between 25 to 30 pounds of free food at each visit. The program has given away around 6,500 pounds of food so far.
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