HATFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Food Bank of western Massachusetts is reminding healthcare providers to screen patients for food insecurity. Food insecurity is when people don’t have enough food to eat because they can’t afford it. A recent study out of Boston shows food insecurity costs the state $2.4 billion annually.
Since last spring, the food bank has been working with the Holyoke Health Center to screen patients and their families, to make sure no one goes hungry. “We’re able to provide them with food in their neighborhood, we’re able to enroll them in SNAP benefits, otherwise known as food stamps,” said Andrew Morehouse, executive director at the Food Bank of western Massachusetts.For those screened positive for food insecurity, providers offer a referral to the food bank which provides them with nutrition services.