Analysis Of Food As A Medicine: A Symptom Of Poverty

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Background
23.8 percent of Californians are living in poverty. Poverty can impact lives in a multitude of ways; especially in acquiring basic needs such as food. Consequently, many Californians struggle to meet their nutritional needs and therefore go hungry. Food insecurity is a symptom of poverty; the multidimensional nature of poverty requires that it is tackled using a holistic approach. In Alameda County, food insecurity is highly concentrated by geography and age—our senior population and children are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. The impacts of chronic hunger are vast, specifically with regard to health outcomes—there is a direct correlation between food security, nutrition, and health.

ALL IN Alameda County has declared
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The ‘Food as a Medicine’ project is designed to engage health providers, and match them with food distributors, health educators, nutritionists, and cooking instructors.

• Food Recovery: This project aims to address hunger, and reduce waste, by distributing foods which would otherwise be cast-off to landfills. The ‘Food Recovery’ project with acquisition unused food for redistribution to strengthen the food security of households living in poverty. The program implements a system for fresh food delivery in Alameda County which addresses access issues which can limit households living in poverty from gaining access to nutritious foods.

• Increase CalFresh Enrolment: This project aims to address hunger by increasing the amount of people who can receive nutritious foods. ‘CalFresh’ project aims to enroll households currently enrolled in Medi-Cal to the CalFresh program with a rate of 100 percent inclusion.

Criteria Considered: Scalability, Financial Impact, Policy Opportunities/Implications

Food as

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