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Bay Area Community Health’s Approach to Food Insecurity and Patient Care

Blog contribution: Bay Area Community Health 

Introduced in January of 2019, Bay Area Community Health’s Food Farmacy has spent the last three years addressing prevalent health concerns within the community such as high blood pressure, malnutrition, obesity and hypertension with the food as medicine approach. With the help of generous sponsors and private donors, Bay Area Community Health (BACH) has been able to break down some of the barriers community members’ experience, by providing healthy dietary options and rescued food from local farms to community members experiencing food insecurity or who have had medical screenings indicating risk of hypertension, malnutrition or obesity.

To learn to eat healthy, you need healthy food -Trusha Nagindas, BACH Patient, Wellness Program Manager

BACH Irvington Farmer’s Market

Until recently, the Food Farmacy had been limited in its abilities to keep up with demand, not because of food availability but mostly due to the limitations in collection and storage. Through a generous grant from the organization Stop Waste and other donations, the Food Farmacy was able to acquire additional resources such as a storage refrigerator, refrigerated truck, reusable crates, and other tools in order to increase the monthly food capacity from 300-400 pounds to 1,200-1,600 pounds which has exponentially increased the ability to serve the needs of community members.

“To learn to eat healthy, you need healthy food.” Says Trusha Nagindas, BACH Patient Wellness Program Manager. “Our program provides qualifying patients with access to fresh, healthy, nutritious food, paired with education and more importantly it empowers patients to manage their medical conditions through food-related behavior and lifestyle changes” adds Nagindas.

The Farmacy currently provides healthy food to more than fifty people a month and hopes to continue to grow. BACH patients receive a “prescription” referral from supporting staff and providers that gains them access to the food distribution event, where they will receive a voucher for the next event as well as healthy recipes and a list of other food pantries that provide on the days the Farmacy does not occur. These events are held at the BACH Liberty Clinic Parking lot, 39500 Liberty St. Fremont. The next event will be held on Tuesday, March 22.

Learn more about Bay Area Community Health HERE.