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Introducing the Healthy Pantry Initiative

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Introducing the Healthy Pantry Initiative

Through generous funding provided by the West Orange Healthcare District, Second Harvest Food Bank and Community Health Centers have partnered together to create a food access system for low-income people struggling with diet-related disease.

The Florida Roadmap to Healthy Living indicates that there were over 500 deaths due to diet-related diseases in the areas of Apopka, Oakland, and parts of Ocoee and Winter Garden in 2014. These same areas have little or no access to fresh, nutritious food, high rates of poverty, high rates of uninsured households, and high rates of SNAP participation.

The Healthy Pantry Initiative will utilize Second Harvest’s network of partner feeding programs, intersecting them with healthcare providers to get healthy food into the hands of needy patients.

Food insecure patients struggling to manage a diet-related disease, such as diabetes, will receive a food voucher that they can take to a local food pantry. At the pantry, patients will be given diabetes-friendly foods such as fresh and canned fruits and vegetables; whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice; beans and other protein sources; as well as dairy products. These patients will be monitored by their healthcare provider at Community Health Centers.

Additionally, partner feeding programs in the healthy pantry network will receive capacity building support enabling them to provide more fresh produce, promote healthy eating and become more sustainable food distribution programs.

Together, we can impact the health of the West Orange community. Stay tuned for more information as this new initiative takes off.

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