Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Community Health and Hunger Program

Posted on September 26, 2018

Over 200,000 Mainers lack access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life, including 21% of Maine children.[1] Lack of adequate nutrition has been shown to increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression among adults and in children, poor nutrition has been linked to low birth rate, anemia, cognitive delays, mental health problems, increased hospitalizations, and obesity.[2] [3] Now there is a coordinated approach for healthcare providers in Maine to connect food insecure patients with resources.

Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Community Health and Hunger Program is partnering with Let’s Go! to better identify and remove barriers to nutritious food. The Good Shepherd Food Bank offers training to healthcare providers on how to identify food insecure patients utilizing the Hunger Vital Signs™ screening tool and provides up to date ending hunger resource guides and emergency groceries for patients to take home at the end of their clinical visit.

There are is a toolkit available from the AAP on Screening for Food Insecurity in Health Care Settings. To learn more, please contact Laura Vinal, Program Manager, at LVinal@gsfb.org.

[1] Coleman-Jenson, Alisha, et al. 2017. "Household Food Security in the United States in 2017". https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/err215/err-215.pdf?v=42636.

[2] Christian A. Gregory, Alisha Coleman-Jensen. Food Insecurity, Chronic Disease, and Health Among Working-Age Adults, ERR-235, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, July 2017.

[3] Promoting Food Security for All Children. (2015). Pediatrics, 136(5). doi:10.1542/peds.2015-3301