Partnering for a new solution in the fight against hunger
This holiday season, we’re giving local communities in need access to free, fresh produce in an effort to help get more healthy meals on the table.
Through a new partnership, athenahealth and Hungry Harvest are working together to create fresh produce pop up events at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in 12 regions across the East Coast. The first markets will kick off this week in Miami and Baltimore, but Hungry Harvest will support events in most of our delivery areas including: Philadelphia, Detroit and locations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia.
“Fighting hunger is a complex issue that needs to be addressed from many different angles. We’re always on the lookout for ways to close food access gaps and get healthy food to those who need it most, so when athenahealth approached us to partner on these efforts, we enthusiastically said yes” says Evan Lutz, CEO & Founder of Hungry Harvest.
After a successful pilot launch in Boston this summer, athenahealth decided to take the program on the road, seeking out mission-driven organizations to help with the launch in each location.
“We prioritize like-minded, innovative organizations when we look for partners, and Hungry Harvest definitely fits that description.” says Jamie Mercurio, Head of Corporate Responsibility at athenahealth.
Each pop up market will serve about 150 patients, health center staff, and members of the surrounding community, providing approximately 8 - 10 pounds of free, fresh fruits and veggies per person.
“Many patients seen at FQHCs are diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, that are often caused in part or complicated by poor nutrition. They want to eat healthy, but it’s not always easy to access the ingredients or produce needed to stay healthy and accomplish their goals.” says Jamie. “The decision to hold the markets at FQHCs enables these community health centers to transcend the exam room walls and better serve their communities.”
At a time of year when many families struggle with food insecurity, our partnership with athenahealth complements the good work we are already doing with Produce in a SNAP, harvestRX and weekly donations. It’s just one more way, we’re able to directly reach underserved patients or populations, regardless of their ability to pay, and hopefully help make the holiday season shine a bit brighter in the process.