The Orange County Department of Health has been awarded a two-year Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge grant to address food insecurity and food access in Orange County.
“According to studies, access to health care and healthy food can significantly impact rates of chronic disease and other health outcomes,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said in the press release announcing the grant. “We are proud to receive this grant and to provide these vital resources to our community, which are even more important as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The $100,000 Challenge grant has been funded through Aetna Foundation, in collaboration with the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties.
Orange County Department of Health is partnering with Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Garnet Health, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, and St. Anthony Community Hospital and to strengthen the screening and referral process for food insecurity for patients, to actively link patients to food assistance programs, including WIC, Senior Meals and SNAP.
Healthcare partners will also utilize Prescription for Produce vouchers for patients to access healthy vegetables and fruits from local Orange County farmers markets, including the Healthy Orange Farmers Market in Newburgh, Middletown Farmers Market and the Warwick Farmers Market.
Additional supporting partners include Cornerstone Family Healthcare Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, Orange County’s Office for the Aging and Department of Social Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County and The Cathedral at the House.
“The grant will help the Orange County Department of Health and its partners in their efforts to reduce chronic disease and food insecurity in Orange County, and to bring greater awareness to its programs and resources,” Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman said.
For information about this grant, contact Orange County Department of Health at 845-360-6691.