ONE Charlotte Health Alliance and Loaves & Fishes partner to address food insecurity; improve access to fresh, nutritious food with first-of-its-kind food pharmacies
Two mobile food pharmacies to begin serving Charlotte’s communities in need
ONE Charlotte Health Alliance (OCHA) has partnered with Loaves & Fishes to bring two, first-of-its-kind mobile food pharmacies to Charlotte. The mobile food pharmacies will travel to communities identified as “food deserts,” where access to nutritious, fresh food is limited by the barriers of availability, cost and transportation.
The alliance, which is formed by Atrium Health and Novant Health, in partnership with Mecklenburg County Public Health Department, aims to remove these barriers with the help of Loaves & Fishes, improving the overall health and wellbeing of communities impacted by food insecurity. These food pharmacies will travel to communities identified as “food deserts” providing greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables and nutritious shelf-stable food to food insecure neighbors in Mecklenburg Co.
“At Loaves & Fishes, we know that food is medicine. A person’s access to nutritious food dramatically impacts their overall health as well as their ability to function and thrive in the workplace or in school,” says Tina Postel, executive director for Loaves & Fishes. “We are thrilled to partner with ONE Charlotte Health Alliance to mobilize our network of emergency food pantry operations. These mobile food pharmacies will provide the access to nutritionally balanced groceries directly in the neighborhoods that need it the most.”
Anyone experiencing food insecurity is eligible to receive a referral for food from the mobile food pharmacies using the Client Choice model. This model enables individuals to choose a specified number of grains, proteins, vegetables, fruit and dairy based on the size of their family. The allotment serves an estimated 21 meals per person, per week. The selection of items to choose from are carefully considered by a registered dietician to include all five food groups.
The mobile food pharmacies are equipped with built-in shelves lining the sides, coolers and a freezer. A cubicle at the far end of the trailer will be staffed by OCHA personnel who will be on-hand to consult with individuals about nutrition and the foods most helpful to improve a health condition they may have, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.
The OCHA and Loaves & Fishes mobile food pharmacies will make routine visits to the locations below. Additional locations will be added throughout the calendar year where it is determined the mobile food pharmacies are most needed.
- River Church, located at 512 W 32nd Street, Charlotte, NC 28206
- Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church, located at 1801 Rozzelles Ferry Road, Charlotte, NC 28208
- Northeast Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located at 827 Tom Hunter Road, Charlotte, NC 28213
For a tour of the mobile unit and to see the impact check out WSOC-TV’s recently news story here.
The mobile food pharmacies follow the roll out of two OCHA mobile health units in February 2019. Together, the four mobile units will bring medical, dental, behavioral health and food assistance services to areas of Charlotte with the highest health disparities.
For more information on ONE Charlotte Health Alliance, visit www.oneclthealth.org. For mobile food pharmacy and mobile health unit services offered and schedule details, visit the ONE Charlotte Health Alliance’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/oneclthealth and follow @oneclthealth on Twitter.
About ONE Charlotte Health Alliance
The ONE Charlotte Health Alliance was launched by Atrium Health and Novant Health, in partnership with Mecklenburg County Health Department, to build upon the conversations around investments to address the community’s critical needs, specifically barriers to health care. ONE Charlotte Health Alliance intends to foster partnerships and create new opportunities to improve access to coordinated health services and resources in the communities that need it most. Learn more about the ONE Charlotte Health Alliance by visiting www.oneclthealth.org and follow ONE Charlotte Health Alliance on Twitter and Facebook at @oneclthealth.
About Loaves & Fishes
Loaves & Fishes fights hunger in our community by providing a week’s worth of nutritionally balanced groceries to neighbors in need through a network of food pantries located throughout Mecklenburg Co. In 2019, Loaves & Fishes provided groceries to over 80,000 individuals, enough to fill Bank of America Stadium. Half were children. For more information about Loaves & Fishes visit www.loavesandfishes.org and follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @loavesfishesnc.
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