No matter the barrier influencing a family’s food security, access to healthy foods is crucial to maintaining wellness. Adults and children who struggle to access healthy foods may be at an increased risk for negative health outcomes and health disparities, including obesity.
Aurora Medical Center-Manitowoc County team members understand the link between food security and health. They partnered with community organizations in 2020 to connect patients and community members to local food resources through three activities:
Aurora Medical Center-Manitowoc County team members educated 76 women about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The program provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased food security concerns for many of community members, increasing the need at local food pantries. Aurora Medical Center-Manitowoc County continued to provide in-kind food donations, with a total value of $31,132 donated in 2020. The food panties then distributed these foods directly to families in need.
The City of Manitowoc Downtown Farmers Market provides access to many locally grown or sourced produce and products. Through a donation provided by Aurora Medical Center-Manitowoc County, the market was able to launch EBT services to market guests in 2020. This increased access to fresh foods for the those in the community who are food insecure and have FoodShare benefits.