Intersection of Health and Access to Food

Good morning friends of Care and Share!

Many people struggling with chronic illness or other health issues know that eating healthy can be the first step to better managing or reversing those concerns. But when you’re struggling with poverty and faced with the decision to pay a medical bill or buy healthier food options at the grocery store, urgent medical needs often take priority.

Some of the nation’s most common chronic illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are diet-related and much harder to treat, manage and prevent without access to food or healthy food options. And with more than 65% of food pantry clients across the U.S. reporting having to regularly choose between paying for food or essential medications, food banks and communities are realizing just how connected food and health are.

At Care and Share, we believe no one should have to face buying a few kinds of low-cost, unhealthy foods just so they have enough money to visit a doctor or buy medicine. That’s why 85% of the foods we provide to our partners across Southern Colorado are considered highly nutritious.

The new partnerships we’re building with healthcare organizations, like community health centers, are not only helping improve the health of food pantry clients but also building healthier, thriving communities. Providing food to low-income neighbors in a healthcare environment can help improve appointment no show rates as well as reduce hospital visits and readmission rates related to chronic illnesses.

We also supplement food distributions with SNAP outreach, healthy recipes, and Cooking Matters classes to help those struggling with hunger in Southern Colorado build a healthier future. Having reliable access to food is just the first step in building a healthier community with less stress on our healthcare system and access to more resources to meet other basic needs.

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