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.

Policy Team

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

View detailed copy of Action Plan

Food Insecurity Screening Referral Initiative

Connecting people to support services addresses the causes and effects of food insecurity.

All patients at The Holyoke Health Center are screened for food insecurity through doctor approved questions. Those who screen positive are referred directly to a Food Bank employee located at the center who connects them to Food Bank assistance and resources and those provided by our community partners. Our food Assistance Referral Coordinator puts the patients’ needs first by tracking their outcomes with our community partners as well as our own assistance.

Damaris, Food Assistance Referral Coordinator, assisting a client at the Holyoke Health Center

“I’ve met a family of four that was in dire need of a place to live due to the living environment affecting the health of one of the youth. I was able to refer them to rapid rehousing as well as our emergency food network.”

– Damaris, Food Assistance Referral Coordinator

Community Partners

Community Partners enable us to address the underlying causes of hunger and provide access to our emergency food network of pantries and meal sites. In addition to Food Bank programs (Mobile Food Banks, Brown Bag: Food for Elders, SNAP and nutrition outreach) patients are referred to providers of housing, day care, utility assistance and more. Our current partners include:
The Holyoke Medical Center
Wayfinders, Inc.
The Valley Opportunity Council
Catholic Charities, Inc.
MassHire Holyoke
Holyoke Pediatrics

Our Food Insecurity Screening Referral Initiative is made possible by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

For additional information, contact Alan Dallmann at 413-247-9738 ext. #143.

Coalition on 'In Focus'
Coalition on 'In Focus'

Read the Pilot Project Evaluation Report