SC Roadmap to Food Security Learning Collaborative
In the fall of 2020, the Spartanburg community was one of five communities chosen in SC to participate in the SC Roadmap to Food Security Learning Collaborative. Partners for Active Living (PAL) will be working hand-in-hand with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, FoodShare Spartanburg, Spartanburg Housing, the YMCA of Greater Spartanburg, and UofSC’s SNAP-Ed Program at the Arnold School of Public Health.
About the Project
This is a 14-month-long project led and facilitated by Blue Cross Blue Shield SC Foundation, The Duke Endowment, HealthBegins, and UofSC’s Core for Applied Research and Evaluation. The project aims to engage local and statewide partners to build upon, align, and accelerate current efforts to improve food security and racial equity at three levels of action- individual/household, community/municipalities, and statewide. PAL received a mini-grant to support our capacity to participate in the learning collaborative.
Goals of the Project
While we are still in the very beginning of developing this project, we have some ideas of what we want to do. Because part of the aim of the project is to build a bridge between healthcare and community, we want to connect these two in a couple of ways. The first is to screen patients for food insecurity through our healthcare facilities and then connect food insecure patients with resources like FoodShare Spartanburg. This could also include referring patients with known chronic disease, such as diabetes, to FoodShare and Spartanburg Food System Coalition’s new virtual cooking classes based around FoodShare. This would be similar to a veggie Rx program. Another way we could build this bridge is by screening residents of low-resource communities for food insecurity and to determine whether or not they have medical homes. We could refer these folks to FoodShare and pair them with a healthcare provider to get a well-visit and potentially incentivize their visit with FoodShare boxes. We may even be able to have some transportation assistance to get these boxes to people for whom transportation is a barrier.
Down the Road
Once we implement and tweak an initial process for these projects, we could expand this out in several different directions: additional healthcare providers, additional neighborhoods, additional services, and screening for additional social determinants of health (social determinants of health are all of the factors in a person’s life that affect their health) are all places where we can add to the model.
We are so excited for the opportunity to work with these partners on systemic change that spans both our local food system and our healthcare system. We look forward to learning what we can from the other communities in this initiative as well as improving our community’s food security through this collaborative project.
This week’s blog is written by Alissa Duncan, Healthy Communities Coordinator and Food System Coordinator, Partners for Active Living