Why Should Health Care and Food Banks Forge Partnerships?
Social determinants of health, such as access to enough nutritious foods, play a considerable role in disease prevention, health status and health outcomes. An estimated 20 percent of a person’s health status is predicted by health care services such as visiting a doctor. Socioeconomic factors such as location (zip code), food insecurity and health behaviors (e.g., smoking status, BMI) are estimated to play a much larger role [i]. As a result, health care organizations are considering ways to effectively address food insecurity and other social determinants of health in an effort to implement “upstream” interventions that support the health of patients and reduce health care costs.