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Six Organizations Receive Grant Funding for Food Insecurity Projects

Date: 07/22/19

Baton Rouge, La. (July 22, 2019) – Louisiana Healthcare Connections has announced the award of $90,000 in grant funds to six healthcare and community organizations in support of community-level projects focused on reducing food insecurity and hunger in Louisiana.

Award recipients include:

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Beta Omega Chapter – GNO-ABO Charitable & Educational Foundation, Inc., in New Orleans, La., for The Pantry Payback, to address food insecurity among college and university students in New Orleans.
  • HOPE Ministries, in Baton Rouge, La., for Fixer Upper – The Pantry Edition, to expand pantry space for streamlined services for the Client Choice Food Pantry.
  • It Takes a Village BR, in Baton Rouge, La., for Love Out Loud Sundays, a meals and food pantry program for disadvantaged individuals and families in Greater Baton Rouge.
  • LTP Medical Mobile, Inc., in Ruston, La., for The Health Hut, a program to improve access to healthy foods and nutritional awareness through dietetic support and budget-friendly nutritional education.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank, in New Orleans, La., for Feeding Hope, a collaborative partnership with AcadianaCares to support a food pantry for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, homelessness, poverty and/or substance abuse in Greater New Orleans.
  • Therapeutic Counseling Clinic, Inc., in Bogalusa, La., for Nutrition for a Healthier Tomorrow, a collaborative community project to address health, nutrition and wellness for youth and homeless populations in Washington Parish.

The Community Health Grants program made available up to $90,000 in grant funds for up to six eligible schools, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers in Louisiana. Applicants were required to submit detailed descriptions of the projects for which funding was requested as well as descriptions of anticipated long- and short-term outcomes. Projects were required to address hunger, food insecurity and/or food access at the community level.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity often requires a household to choose between basic necessities, such as medical needs or housing, and purchasing healthy foods. In Louisiana, 20 percent of the population is classified as food insecure, according to Hunger Free America. The state also has the second highest rate of food insecure children, and the highest rate of food insecure seniors, in the nation, the agency reported in its 2017 National Report on Hunger.

“Food insecurity is one of the most serious social determinants of health in our state, and it is one that affects every community,” said Chelsea Graves, Community Relations Principal at Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “The organizations selected for grant funding demonstrated a clear commitment to making a meaningful difference in the communities they serve, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to support their efforts.”

Louisiana Healthcare Connections’ Community Health Grants program launched in 2018 as part of the health plan’s efforts to combat food insecurity and hunger in Louisiana. The Healthy Louisiana Medicaid health plan has also implemented a number of other food insecurity-focused programs, including a physician toolkit to help healthcare professionals identify and address food insecurity at the point of care.

“Improving health outcomes requires a comprehensive approach. Access to quality care is critical, but families need more to achieve long-term improvements in their health,” said Kendra Case, COO. “By providing the tools and resources needed to address issues like food insecurity, and by partnering with organizations that share our commitment to building healthy communities, we have the opportunity to truly transform health in our state, one person at a time.”