Louisiana Healthcare Connections awards six community health grants
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (October 7, 2021) – Louisiana Healthcare Connections announced a $ 100,000 grant to six community organizations to support their efforts to address hunger and food insecurity in communities of Louisiana. Grant recipients include:
St. Martin’s Hospital Road to Good Health Program This award-winning program, led by dietitians and nurse practitioners, promotes health and wellness through education, awareness and preventative care. The funding will help expand the program to include access to healthy food in rural areas, addressing food insecurity as well as diabetes, obesity and other health issues.
The Family Tree Healthy Start Parent Store This free program for pregnant women and parents with children up to 18 months of age will provide one-on-one assistance in the Acadiana area through the Parent Store to address food insecurity and practical strategies for making healthy food choices for a start.
To help alleviate food insecurity in central Louisiana, funds from this project will support the operations of the food bank’s mobile pantry program that provides food to economically disadvantaged families in communities without charitable food services. existing premises.
Volunteers of America of North Louisiana Healthy Living Project This project will provide education to adults with severe mental illness on how to access, purchase and prepare fresh, healthy food, in addition to monitoring the positive impact of these diet and lifestyle changes. on their physical and mental well-being.
West Jefferson Hospital Foundation Wellthy Farmer’s Market Contributing directly to healthy outcomes, Medicaid patients who do not have access to healthy choices will receive nutrition education and “Wellthy Bucks” for purchasing fresh produce from the original farm local.
The Walls Project, The Hustle and Grow Program Funding for this community gardening program will continue to distribute healthy product options in the North Baton Rouge area, considered a food desert, as well as the expansion of the Hustle & Grow program. Grow to offer to more than 75 high school students trained in urban agriculture with a view to obtaining certifications in agrotechnology and horticulture.
With one in four children and seniors in Louisiana living in food insecure households, hunger affects every parish in the state. The Louisiana Healthcare Connections Community Health Grants program supports efforts to address food insecurity and hunger at the community level and seeks relationships where existing skills can be tapped, current capacity is strengthened, and collective impact is large but significant. .
Chosen from more than 50 detailed applications from across the state, the selected projects were to address hunger, food insecurity and / or access to food at the community level.
“Improving health outcomes requires more than just access to quality medical care,” said Yolanda Wilson, vice president of quality improvement at Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “Good health begins in the places where we live, learn, worship, work and play. And because at the local level, many solutions for good health already exist, investing in these solutions means having a positive impact on the health and health outcomes of our members and improving the health of our communities.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as “a lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy life.” Food insecurity often forces a household to choose between basic necessities, such as medical needs or shelter, and food. According to the USDA’s latest economic research service, Louisiana has improved its food security in recent years, but still has the third highest food insecurity in the country.
The Louisiana Healthcare Connections Community Health Grants Program was launched in 2018 as part of the Health Plan’s efforts to address food insecurity and hunger in Louisiana. The Healthy Louisiana Medicaid health plan has also implemented a number of other programs focused on food insecurity, including a toolkit for physicians to help healthcare professionals identify and address insecurity. point-of-service food, and SNAP-match programs at multiple marke farmers