Food, Education and Empowerment for Diabetes (FEED) Project
Type 2 diabetes is a major health concern for many people in central Ohio. Approximately one in ten adults age 18 and older in Ohio have been diagnosed with diabetes, and the majority of these individuals have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Managing type 2 diabetes is challenging, and food plays a critical role. In 2011, Mid- Ohio Foodbank (MOF) received an $800,000 grant through Feeding America and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to help tackle this disease that disproportionately affects those in poverty.
The FEED project is a partnership between Mid-Ohio Foodbank , Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA), Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers (CNHC) and the Division of Medical Dietetics in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Through this partnership, patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes receiving care at CNHC sites complete a type 2 diabetes education course taught by CODA. If CODA class participants express interest in enrolling in the FEED project, they are screened to determine eligibility and are subsequently enrolled. Following enrollment, participants visit a MOF partner pantry to receive a foodbox two times/month with non-perishable diabetes-friendly foods, whole grain bread products, fresh produce and meat.
As part of this project, we are evaluating the impact of several factors: medical care, type 2 diabetes education and access to diabetes-friendly foods. Once we can more deeply understand the impact on clinical outcomes, diabetes-related self-care, fruit and vegetable intake, mental health outcomes, and quality of life related to diabetes, the Foodbank can make decisions that will best help those we serve in our network with diabetes.
Hunger hurts. And it is especially debilitating when you have added health related diseases like diabetes. While there is much to learn, the FEED project is a good first step in connecting those who are working to meet the demand of food assistance in our community with those who are struggling with both hunger and diabetes.