Congressman Jim McGovern visits the Institute’s 17th Street Health Center to Discuss Solutions to Food Insecurity
Rep. Jim McGovern, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, visited The Institute for Family Health at 17th Street to meet with Institute staff, including Michaela Frazier, Vice President for Social Support Services, Haileigh Nelson, Director of Care Coordination, and Rebecca Segall, a Care Coordination Supervisor. Representative McGovern has been working with his Washington colleagues to establish a White House conference that focuses on ending food insecurity in the United States, and reached out to the Institute staff for assistance in assembling data and stories about how this issue affects our patients.
After outlining some of the ways the Institute works to help patients access nutritious foods, Michaela Frazier said, “We know that health is more than what happens in the exam room, and we fundamentally believe that our providers must be part of a team that cares for the patient as a whole person. A provider needs to know how to talk to their patient and connect them to the right person, not just write a prescription or tell them to eat more fruits and veggies without considering their life circumstances.” She went on to describe some of the other Institute programs that target food insecurity, including Bronx Health REACH and the Farm Share as well as a new partnership with God’s Love We Deliver.
Congressman McGovern cited the importance of the long-term sustainability of these programs and the necessity of providing consistent full support at the national level. “There isn’t a week that goes by that someone doesn’t stop by my office asking for food help. COVID-19 has put a lot of people in the situation of being food insecure when they never thought they would be, but even before COVID, there were 37 million people going hungry in the United States. Community health centers are on the front lines and they get it. The days of pretending there are no solutions are over. It’s now a matter of connecting the dots and the political will.”
We are very grateful to Congressman McGovern and his staff for stopping by and working with us on this important issue.