Food Insecurity and Health Pilot
Many individuals struggle to access one of the most basic necessities, food. Because of this, the Wisconsin Medical Home Initiative launched their Food Insecurity and Health Pilot. The pilot has a simple framework in mind with the idea that by linking health systems and community-based organizations such as food pantries, the many individuals that do not have access to food will be able to get connected.
The Food Insecurity and Health Pilot aims to strengthen the communication between the health systems and community-based organizations (CBOs) so they are able to form strong relationships that will help connect families and children and youth with special health care needs to the food and nutrition benefits they need.
The pilot officially launched in early 2021, and includes various partner organizations that are working toward the shared goal of increasing access to nourishment for children and families.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin (FAEW)
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is the leading hunger-relief organization in the state with locations in Milwaukee and Appleton. Founded in 1982 by the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is a local and independent member of the Feeding America network. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin collaborates with 400+ hunger-relief programs including food pantries, meal programs and shelters to provide more than 20 million meals annually across 35 counties in eastern Wisconsin.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin also supports programs that improve food security for people facing hunger and works collaboratively with community partners to solve hunger. The food bank brings to the pilot expertise in food insecurity, existing programs and policies, and designing processes and solutions that serve our most vulnerable populations. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin will foster collaboration and advocacy to design, support and educate on the food insecurity pilot.
Children’s Wisconsin brings an inspiring vision to the pilot’s table: making Wisconsin children the healthiest kids in the nation. Two Children’s Clinics, Midtown and Next Door Pediatrics, are participating in the pilot.
Together the two participating clinics have more than 8,000 patients and 15 pediatricians that work to address every patient’s complete medical and social needs. When it comes to access to food, the clinics have processes in place to screen patients for food insecurity and other social determinants of health. After successful completion of the pilot, Children’s hopes to strengthen relationships with providers, families and CBO’s.
Friedens Food Pantries
Composed of four food pantries, Friedens is the largest food pantry network in Milwaukee and has been providing food since 1978. Friedens operates by focusing on their core priority of commitment to building up communities through partnerships, programs and advocacy with the goal of increasing access to healthy food, food resources management and healthy cooking skill building.
By participating in the Food Insecurity and Health Pilot, Friedens hopes to improve both client experiences and the ability to track outcomes while increasing the ability to make two-way referrals. With these goals in mind, Friedens aims to work toward a world where all families have enough healthy food to eat.
The Salvation Army Milwaukee County Social Services
The Salvation Army has rich history in Milwaukee, beginning with programming in 1893 and shelter services in 1903. The Social Service aspect of the Salvation Army has a homeless shelter, seasonal programs, case managers, support housing and food pantry services.
The participating pantry, 60th Street Food Pantry, serves three zip codes and provides clients monthly access to basic grocery items and prepackaged food boxes. The Salvation Army joins the pilot with the vision that every person has their basic needs met with compassion, dignity and without discrimination.
Questions about the Food Insecurity and Health Pilot? Contact Geeta Wadhwani.