At The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), we know that appropriately addressing food insecurity includes accurately identifying who experiences it.
As a growing body of research shows that hunger negatively impacts the health of children and adults, GBFB recommends healthcare providers screen their patients for food insecurity and connect them with local hunger-relief resources.
Our advocacy efforts took a major step forward Spring 2018 when the Massachusetts Medical Society passed a resolution at its annual meeting encouraging healthcare providers to screen all patients for food insecurity.
“This resolution and the support of the Massachusetts medical community is a major milestone in our mission to end hunger here,” said Carol Tienken, Chief Operating Officer at GBFB. “We know it will take many different partners working together to create a hunger-free Massachusetts.”
The resolution was initially proposed by members of GBFB’s Health and Research Team, which has managed relationships with ten health care centers in Eastern Massachusetts.
Five of those centers have conducted food-insecurity screenings with GBFB’s help. Over 50 percent of patients at each center screened positive for food insecurity, more than five times the food-insecurity rate of the overall population Massachusetts.