The Coalition to End Hunger was launched in 2017 as a result of recommendations developed in 2016 by the Task Force to End Hunger in western Massachusetts. This collaborative network of leaders and organizations are focusing on three primary areas of work.
Identifies and supports changes that will help to resolve the underlying causes of hunger:
- Public policy that addresses food insecurity
- Health industry support especially in areas with high food insecurity and health disparities
- Multi sector collaboration to leverage commitment to public health via food security
Service Integration Team
Develops a network that will help connect those who are food insecure through:
- Integrated services that knit together the safety net resources in our region
- Health industry collaboration that promotes food as medicine
- Integrates nutrition programs into other safety net programs
- Increases access to healthy food in food deserts and food swamps
Communication and Education Team
Addresses the lack of understanding and education about food insecurity, and the stigma involving food insecurity through a targeted media campaign:
- erases the stigma associated with seeking food assistance
- restores social values of shared responsibility
- provides vulnerable households with a sense of self worth and dignity
In June 2017, a pilot project was launched at Holyoke Health Center (with funding from The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and The Irene E. and George C. Davis Foundation) to screen and identify pediatric patients and families who are food insecure. Once identified, they are referred to The Food Bank for immediate food assistance and other agencies for wrap around support.
The goal was to screen 250 patients/families by the end of September 2017 and monitor the results when food security is supported in a focused way.
For additional information, contact Alan Dallmann at 413-247-9738 ext. #143.