BOISE—The Family Medicine Residency of Idaho (FMRI) recently honored The Idaho Foodbank with the inaugural Community Partnership Award for its effort to help those with food insecurity in the Treasure Valley.
“We were moved, absolutely moved, by the partnership with The Idaho Foodbank,” Dr. Ted Epperly of the FMRI shared during the virtual award presentation. “The partnership was a lifesaver for our patients who were food insecure and financially stretched.”
The partnership between FMRI and The Idaho Foodbank provided 600 neighbors in need with food each week from seven different FMRI clinics, as well as offering referrals to ongoing resources. The model is an example of impacting overall health through meeting environmental and economic challenges.
FMRI is funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. Based on this local partnership, HRSA has recognized FMRI as a model for other community health centers to consider adopting in partnership with their local food banks to help even more people in need.
Board members and staff from both Family Medicine Residency of Idaho and The Idaho Foodbank attended the virtual award presentation held Aug. 11.
Food insecurity impacts an estimated 1 in 9 Idahoans, including 1 in 8 children, according to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study. Penny Beach, MD, Chief Medical Officer at FMRI, notes, “Access to healthy food, especially for children and people with chronic diseases like diabetes, creates healthy communities. This screening program allowed us to identify and then refer people to community resources to access healthy food options.”
This past year the need for nutritious food was unprecedented as our community was struck with COVID-19. The Idaho Foodbank, in their coordination with the Farmers to Families food box program, was a lifeline to the countless people who lost their jobs and those who were struggling to make ends meet for the first time. The Idaho Foodbank’s leadership in securing food boxes allowed FMRI to support hundreds of people each week at our clinics in Boise, Nampa and Meridian.