New Program Aims to Help Food Insecurity in Our Community
In 2016, the KSB Community Health Needs Assessment identified food insecurity as one of the key health needs of the communities we serve.
Simply put, food insecurity is the lack of consistent access to enough food for a healthy lifestyle. Those suffering from food insecurity may not know where their next meal is coming from or lack access to food based on their financial resources. Food insecure households may face greater health risks and have been linked to obesity, diabetes, nutrient deficiencies, low fruit and vegetable intake, and other indicators of unhealthy diets.
Data from the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment found that:
- 9% of Lee County residents meet the criteria for food insecurity;
- 1 in 5 children in Lee County are food insecure; and
- Of those children, 30% are ineligible for assistance programs, like SNAP or WIC.
In response to this challenge, KSB has started the Fighting Hunger, Feeding Wellness program to enhance the nutritional health of our community through distribution of surplus food from the hospital cafeteria to food insecure families.
This nurse-led initiative works with various KSB departments, including Dietary, Community Wellness, Auxiliary and Volunteers, as well as the Employee Fund Development Committee. The Fighting Hunger, Feeding Wellness planning team is also working in collaboration with area churches who will distribute the surplus food to those community members in need.
In its first month, this exciting initiative saw great success, with over 600 meals being served.
The program continues on Tuesday and Thursdays at Living Well Church of the Nazarene, 116 E First Street in Dixon. Food service is from 5:30-6:30 pm, and community members in need can drop by to pick up their packaged dinners and can eat at the church while enjoying fellowship, or meals can be taken home. Throughout the meal service, KSB Nursing Staff is in attendance on various nights throughout the month providing one-on-one education and overall health checks.