Food insecurity is one of the major social determinants of health impacting the Far Rockaway, New York community. When COVID-19 hit the Rockaway peninsula, it exacerbated food insecurity across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups due to increased food prices, loss of income and reduction of support services. St. John’s Episcopal Hospital recognized that due to a lack of access to healthy food, its community is at a high risk of food insecurity and chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In response to the growing food insecurity, SJEH collaborated with The Campaign Against Hunger — one of the largest and most trusted emergency food and community support organizations in New York City — to distribute fresh produce and non-perishables. Every Thursday, the hospital holds a food distribution event open to the community and patients.
Working together, the organizations have distributed about 5,000 boxes of fresh produce in the community over six months. These food distribution events also give the hospital an opportunity to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations, COVID-19 test kits and other necessary health screenings and education.
For more information, contact Lorna Manning, RN, MHM, MBA, ACM, associate vice president, integrated case management and population health, at email@example.com or Preet Kukreja, MBA, MHA, director, population health initiatives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.