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Food insecurity contributes to poor health outcomes for Hoosiers


According to Feeding America, one in nine people in Indiana faces hunger. While many Hoosiers have rebounded from the challenges posed by the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, things are worse for many in our communities, particularly when it comes to food insecurity. The impending end of the federal public health emergency will likely mean less government aid, particularly in Black and brown communities, which were devastated by the pandemic and may never recover. Jobs and family members have been lost, local businesses have closed and grocery stores have folded, causing significant food insecurity in both urban and rural areas.

Executive director Abigail Harlan moves ready-to-ship nutrient-dense meal packs at Pack Away Hunger, an Indianapolis non-profit that helps children experiencing hunger and malnutrition on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The non-perishable packs feed up to 6 people each and contain rice, soy protein, vitamins and dehydrated vegetables.

More:Here are the foods most affected by inflation in Indiana

As a managed care entity in Indiana, we see how social issues, such as inadequate food, are reflected in a number of gaps in care, such as preventive health measures that are not completed. For example, immunization rates continue to be a cause for concern, with many families falling behind in standard immunizations and other wellness related youth care. There are many drivers of these gaps, but one of the largest is the fact that families must manage competing priorities. If they are concerned with meeting their most basic needs, such as food, then they may not have the capacity to positively engage with the health care system.



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