These are the key actions that successful anti-hunger and health care partnerships all share

Over the past several years, Health care systems and individual providers have increasingly recognized their role in identifying and addressing their patients’ food security needs. Efforts to screen for food insecurity in health care settings and facilitate successful connections to anti-hunger organizations and emergency food providers have increasingly become squarely positioned within systems of health care delivery.

But what exactly makes partnerships between the health care and anti-hunger communities successful? Children’s Health Watch, Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center have worked with anti-hunger advocates, emergency food providers, and health care providers as they address food insecurity in health care settings.  We share a common vision of supporting these partnerships to improve food security and health and have found several key actions that are common practices for successful efforts.  Those are outlined in a new resource, ADDRESSING FOOD INSECURITY IN HEALTH CARE SETTINGS: KEY ACTIONS & TOOLS FOR SUCCESS

We encourage you to use this resource to learn more about taking these key actions:

  1. Make your case to convey the importance of addressing food insecurity
  2. Incorporate food insecurity screening into the institutional workflow
  3. Build cross-sector partnerships to address patient needs
  4. Advocate for a strong health-focused nutrition safety net.

The path that anti-hunger and health care partnerships take to addressing food insecurity in their communities can take many twists and turns, and is not without a few pitfalls. Like any well-trodden path, the growing number of successful health care and anti-hunger community partnerships across the U.S. offer valuable guideposts for others to follow and learn from. Whether it’s building awareness of the connection between hunger and health, developing and fine-tuning pathways from screening to assistance services, or achieving total alignment among key health care and anti-hunger stakeholders, these four key actions offer a straightforward approach.