Across the country, hospitals are recognizing the vital link between healthy food access and community health outcomes and are putting their community benefit resources to work on solutions.
In Albuquerque, for example, where nearly a quarter of the population struggles to access healthy food, hundreds of families receive fresh produce through a unique partnership between a farmers cooperative and a health system.
Nonprofit hospitals are required to maintain community benefit programs in order to meet their obligations for tax-exempt status. Recent changes to regulations have encouraged hospitals to become more involved in community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives.
Created with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Care Without Harm’s “Delivering community benefit: Healthy food playbook” inspires and supports hospital community benefit professionals and community partners in developing initiatives to promote healthy food access and healthy, local and sustainable food systems.
The playbook offers information and tools to address food- and diet-related community health needs throughout the community health engagement process.
The playbook is the result of a comprehensive national study of best practice in community benefit achieved through a national survey and extensive stakeholder interviews.