/ Policy

National Public Health Week 2020: Food is Medicine

It’s National Public Health Week! Every April, the American Public Health Association organizes a week of events to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight the issues that are essential to improving our nation’s health. Each day focuses on a different topic within the public health. During the current global pandemic, the value of prescient public health policies has become ever more important. God’s Love serves individuals most at-risk in the age of coronavirus, namely those who are living with one or more serious or chronic illnesses, so our services are ever more important at this time.

As a provider of medically tailored meals (MTMs), God’s Love promotes community and population health, by home-delivering the specific nutrition vulnerable individuals need to keep them healthy and at home and, especially now, out of the hospital. Here we highlight how God’s Love addresses some of the daily themes of National Public Health Week:

Monday: Mental Health

MTMs are a reliable source of food for our clients, many of whom are food insecure and worry about meeting their daily nutrition needs. For God’s Love clients, a reliable source of food that not only meets their caloric needs, but also helps manage their serious illness can help reduce stress and mental burden. 92% of clients report that God’s Love meals help them live more independently and 74% report that it makes their treatment more bearable.

Thursday: Environmental Health

Our health is impacted by what we put into our bodies and by the environments in which we live, work and play. God’s Love considers our impact on the health of planet a part of our mission to improve health. We are constantly moving to source our food more sustainably; the salmon and pollack in our meals are wild-caught and the dairy in our baked goods is from a local dairy. We have a waste digester that converts up to 1,000 lbs. of organic food waste into disposable water and our meal packaging is recyclable and BPA-free. Additionally, our headquarters in SoHo received the LEED Silver energy-efficient certification.

Friday: Education

Time and time again, research has shown that hunger and malnutrition impede the learning ability of children which can have life-long implications for their ability to succeed and thrive. Unfortunately, caregivers who are seriously ill are often unable to provide proper nutrition for their children due to the symptoms of their disease or the side effects of their treatment. This why God’s Love also provides meals to the dependents in the household of a client. By feeding both patients and their children, God’s Love supports the education of the children and the ability of an entire home to thrive.

Saturday: Healthy Homes

As healthcare focuses more on the social drivers of poor health outcomes, partnerships with healthcare have opened new avenues to improve care for clients. Through the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, God’s Love has collaborated with other community service providers outside of the traditional healthcare system, including healthy housing. Healthy housing is a foundational determinant of health because it often makes achieving success in the other domains, including nutrition, more feasible. For example, without a stable address we are unable to deliver nutrition to our clients. A stable living situation allows our clients to make healthy eating a priority.

Sunday: Economics

Economic empowerment is the key to a healthy life. So many factors influencing health—access to healthy food, safe neighborhoods, clean air to breathe—are determined by one’s socioeconomic position. Low-income families have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other chronic conditions. These conditions are compounded by their limited opportunities to improve their health, including limited accessibility to affordable and culturally-relevant grocery stores. By delivering food, we take the burden of accessing healthy food off our clients’ minds, allowing them to focus on the other factors influencing their health and quality of life.

God’s Love is proud to participate in this year’s National Public Health Week. As we collectively grapple with COVID-19 and its profound impacts on our society, it has never been clearer that public health deeply affects so many aspects of our lives. We recognize the accomplishments of our public health partners and are deeply grateful to be a part of the community improving the health of our nation. #ThankYouPublicHealth

6.18.24 / Clients

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