Putting a focus on food security
CCHC prioritizes grants to local food pantries during COVID-19 crisis
This past year, an estimated 13.4 percent of Cape Codders experienced food insecurity, living without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. To help meet the increased need, local food pantries stretched to expand services while towns initiated new ways to deliver meals to vulnerable residents, including children, who lacked access to school breakfast and lunches during shutdowns. According to Feeding America, the lack of access to adequate food in Barnstable County ballooned from 8.7 percent in 2018, due in part to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Cape Cod Healthcare Community Benefits program, which focuses on supporting local non-profit organizations aimed to help preserve and improve the health and wellbeing of local residents, provided $65,000 in grants to local organizations supplying food and ready-made meals to Cape Codders – just in time for the holidays.
The Falmouth Service Center received $15,000 to support its food pantry. A $15,000 grant was made to the Yarmouth Food Pantry, a resource serving as a food pantry and distribution center in the mid-Cape area. And Sandwich Food Pantry was provided a $10,000 grant to help support over 400 families in the Sandwich area with access to supplemental food and additional resources.
Cape Cod Healthcare also awarded a $25,000 grant to the Barnstable Public Schools Meal/Service Program, which has provided grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to Barnstable youth since the spring, when in-person learning was halted at public schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year, more than ever, we must pay close attention to our community and lead with our hearts. Cape Cod Healthcare is supporting food pantries and meal distribution programs to assist in this critical need,” said Michael K. Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare.