FedEx helps local nonprofits address specialized nutrition needs
September is Hunger Action Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of hunger in America and finding solutions within our communities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over 33 million people in the U.S. lived in food-insecure households in 2021.
For many, the local food bank provides a lifeline for families in need, but what if you also have a medical condition such as cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, or other serious illness that requires a diet tailored to your specific nutritional needs?
That’s where local nonprofits - who tailor meals to meet this need - step in to help.
Through a combination of charitable grants and team member volunteer efforts, FedEx is proud to support these community programs that address food insecurity in often-overlooked populations.
Project Angel Heart (Colorado Springs)
Project Angel Heart’s purpose is to deliver comfort and support through high-quality nutrition services, including medically tailored meals, while also advocating for the principles of “Food is Medicine.” Regardless of a person’s background or circumstances, everyone should have access to the nutrition they need—especially when they are sick.
Each week in the kitchen, Project Angel Heart creates meals from scratch, made in partnership with a registered dietitian, that are tailored to meet the specific dietary needs of people living with severe illnesses such as cancer, heart failure, HIV/AIDS and more.
The meals are delivered directly to clients’ home, free of charge, removing the barriers to accessing nutritious food due to financial, mobility and accessibility issues. Clients report that the medically tailored meals increase their well-being by addressing the economic pressures of severe illness, giving them time to rest and recover, and allowing them to live independently at home.
Project Angel Heart clients are often facing the dual challenge of food insecurity and a severe illness diagnosis.
The Henry W Grady Health System Foundation Inc. (Atlanta)
There is a critical connection between health and nutrition. At Grady Health System, many patients struggle with chronic, diet-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. While a healthy diet is essential to disease management and prevention, too many families in the Atlanta community lack access to fresh, wholesome food.
Recognizing the need, Grady Health System, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and Open Hand Atlanta partnered to connect the community with fresh, healthy food through the innovative Jesse Hill Market. The market first opened in August 2020 and serves as the home of the Food as Medicine program at Grady, which seeks to increase access to healthy, affordable food for patients, employees, and the community.
Patients with diabetes or hypertension who screen positive for food insecurity and are referred by their primary care provider, are eligible to enroll and can stop by the food pharmacy the same day. Benefits of the program include fresh food boxes every two weeks, nutrition education with a Registered Dietitian, and cooking classes in the Teaching Kitchen. Each food prescription lasts for three months, and patients can renew benefits for up to a full year.
Over the past two years, FedEx team members have volunteered for the Food as Medicine Fresh Food Cart events located at Grady Health Systems’ neighborhood health care centers around Atlanta.
Meals on Wheels South Florida/Human Services Network, Inc. (Miami)
The number of seniors experiencing food insecurity and isolation is greater than ever. Meals on Wheels South Florida provides hunger-relief services, friendly visits, and safety checks that enable seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity.
Included in their comprehensive list of programs are home meal delivery, community-based dining, meals for companion pets, grocery shopping assistance, nutrition education, and emergency meals.
Since March 2020, the demand for assistance from Meals on Wheels South Florida has increased by 200%. Thanks to the programs and services provided, more than 10,000 seniors in South Florida receive an estimated 1.2 million meals annually.
In addition to providing charitable grants to Meals on Wheels South Florida, FedEx team members have volunteered to prepare, serve, and deliver meals to homebound seniors.
*** Photos courtesy of Project Angel Heart, Henry W Grady Health System Foundation Inc., Meals On Wheels South Florida