In late September 2005 CHC and the Association of Nutrition Services Agencies (ANSA) were awarded a two-year, $300,000 grant from The UPS Foundation to conduct a major public education campaign about the importance of food as medicine for people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. The primary goal of “Food as Medicine” is to advance the field of community-based nutrition services for the critically ill by educating lawmakers, policy makers, academics, and others about the medical, economic and personal value of nutrition services.
In an effort to develop and educate new leaders in Congress about the power of food as medicine, CHC sponsored public forums on Capitol Hill, presented “food as medicine” at national anti-hunger conferences, and mobilized support from the general public by using national media outlets to publicize research findings. In partnership with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, and the Community Food Security Coalition, CHC also created educational materials to help clients of ANSA affiliates identify food resources through the Food Stamp Program (now SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and from locally available foods (through farmer’s markets and food banks). These educational brochures are available in the Publications Library.
ANSA worked with five member agencies – Food & Friends (Washington, D.C.), Project Angel Heart (Denver, Colorado), Project Open Hand (San Francisco, California), Project Open Hand Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia), and Open Arms of Minnesota (Minneapolis) – to measure outcomes and develop a universal evaluation tool to be used by any community-based nutrition services agency to gauge the impact they have on their clients’ well-being. For more information about ANSA and the Food as Medicine Campaign, please visit www.ansanutrition.org