FEEDING THE FOOD INSECURE

We’ll take you inside the Long Island program, Island Harvest, that is providing reliable access to affordable food.

Aired on September 4, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

ONE IN TEN LONG ISLANDERS STRUGGLES WITH FOOD INSECURITY, THEY LACK RELIABLE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, NUTRITIOUS FOOD.

ISLAND HARVEST FOOD BANK AND OTHER HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS HAVE TEAMED UP WITH A NEW PROGRAM CALLED FOOD AS HEALTH.

THE HOSPITAL-BASED INITIATIVE IS THE FIRST OF ITS KINDS IN NEW YORK STATE.

HERE IS THE PRESIDENT AND CEO.

RANDY, WELCOME TO YOU.

LET ME START OFF IF I CAN, BEFORE I GET TO YOUR ORGANIZATION, ACTUALLY WHAT THEY'RE DOING, TALK ABOUT THIS NOTION OF FOOD INSECURITY, IT'S A FAIRLY NEW TERM, AT LEAST TO THE PUBLIC, GIVE US A BETTER SENSE OF WHAT IT MEANS.

WELL, WE TYPICALLY USE THE TERM HUNGER, FOOD INSECURITY IS THE NEW TERM THAT WE USE, AND IT DESCRIBES, REALLY, NOT KNOWING WHERE YOUR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM OR WHEN IT MAY BE AVAILABLE TO YOU.

WHEN WE'RE SPEAKING ABOUT MEALS, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GOOD, HEALTHY NUTRITIOUS MEALS.

TELL US ABOUT ISLAND HARVEST AND HOW IT WORKS.

IT'S A FOOD BANK ON LONG ISLAND.

WE'RE HELPING ABOUT 300,000 PEOPLE ALL ACROSS LONG ISLAND.

AND WE DO THAT THROUGH OBVIOUSLY GIVING FOOD OUT TO THE COMMUNITY, BUT EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT ARE THE SUPPORTIVE SERVICES WE COULD PROVIDE AROUND GIVING OUT FOOD.

YOU SEE, WE COULD GIVE SOMEBODY A CAN OF FOOD, BUT WE'RE GOING TO HELP THEM JUST FOR THAT DAY, AND SO WHAT WE DO IS WORK REALLY HARD TO FIND WAYS TO HELP THEM TO BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT.

AND SO WE HELP THEM WITH SERVICES LIKE SNAP OUTREACH, WHICH IS FOOD STAMPS, NUTRITION EDUCATION, WHICH REALLY IS THE CORNERSTONE NOW OF ALL OF OUR PROGRAMS.

WE HAVE TARGETED PROGRAMS FOR VETERANS, FOR CHILDREN, FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, AND FOR FAMILIES.

OFFERING THEM LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUT FINANCIAL SECURITY, NUTRITION EDUCATION AND INFORMATION, HEALTHY EATING.

WE EVEN HAVE A FARMING PROGRAM, A GARDEN PROGRAM, SO THAT WE CAN TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT AND REALLY MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN SUPPLEMENT OVER AND ABOVE FOOD THAT THEY MAY BE GETTING FROM EMERGENCY FOOD PROGRAMS.

TELL ME SOME MORE ABOUT THE SPECIFICS OF THE FOOD IS HEALTH PROGRAM AND HOW THIS ALLIANCE CAME ABOUT.

YOU KNOW, THIS IS REALLY A NATURAL PROGRAM THAT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT SOMEBODY WITH A CONDITION, A HEALTH CONDITION LIKE DIABETES OR HEART DISEASE, WHAT THEY EAT IMPACTS HOW THEY FEEL AND WHAT HAPPENS WITH THEIR BODY.

AND IT ALSO IMPACTS WHETHER MEDICINES ARE WORKING PROPERLY.

AND SO WE APPROACH NORTH WELL HEALTH ABOUT THIS PROGRAM THAT WE WOULD PROVIDE A DIETITIAN THAT WOULD BE ON SITE AT A HOSPITAL, AND WOULD WORK WITH PATIENTS AS THEY'RE BEING DISCHARGED, OR PATIENTS THAT ARE COMING FROM THEIR WOUND CLINIC.

OUR DIETITIAN WILL MEET WITH PATIENTS AND TALK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR CONDITION.

AND HELP THEM CREATE MEAL PLANS SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND WHY FOOD -- CERTAIN TYPES OF FOODS ARE IMPORTANT AND HOW THEY INTERACT WITH THEIR BODY.

YOU KNOW, VERY OFTEN DOCTORS WILL TELL THEM YOU NEED TO EAT BETTER, YOU NEED TO EAT HEALTHY, BUT THEY DON'T GO INTO THE DETAIL.

OUR DIETITIANS ARE ABLE TO SPEND THAT TIME WITH THEM AND GO THROUGH THAT.

SOME OF THESE MIGHT BE CONCERNED ABOUT, WHAT IS THIS GOING TO COST ME, CAN I HANDLE WHATEVER THE COST WILL BE, WHAT'S THE ANSWER TO THAT?

THAT'S TRUE.

WHAT WE CAN DO IS WORK WITH THEM TO TEACH THEM HOW TO SHOP PROPERLY.

IN SOME CASES IT MEANS BUYING IN BULK.

IN SOME CASES THEY CAN'T BUY IN BULK BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO STORE FOOD.

FOR EXAMPLE, SOMEONE'S LIVING IN A SHELTER OR IN A SHARED HOME SITUATION, BUT WE ALSO DO TRAINING IN SUPERMARKETS TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT SHOPPING PROPERLY.

WHEN WE COUPLE THAT WITH COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS, AND TEACHING THEM ABOUT EATING HEALTHY, WE'RE MAKING SURE THAT WE'RE GIVING THEM THE FULL PICTURE.

WELL, IT CERTAINLY SOUNDS LIKE A MARVELOUS PROGRAM, AND I KNOW YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS DONE WONDERFUL WORK FOR A WHILE NOW.

AND THE FACT THAT YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO JOIN IN WITH THESE OTHER ORGANIZATIONS GIVES US SOME HOPE FOR THIS.

SO, AGAIN, IT'S FABULOUS PROGRAM, EVERYONE APPRECIATES THAT AND APPRECIATE YOU SPENDING SOME TIME WITH US AND EXPLAINING IT TO US.

YOU BE WELL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, APPRECIATE IT.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

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