We know that consistent access to nutritious food fuels healthy bodies and minds, and that when people don’t have enough food or choose inexpensive foods with low nutritional value, it can seriously impact their physical and mental health. However, food is only one part of the equation that leads to thriving families. Many interconnected conditions in the environments where people are born, live, work, play, worship, and age affect their overall health, functioning, and quality of life.

These conditions are Social Determinants of Health, and consistent access to quality health care is one of them. 

At Lowcountry Food Bank, we want all our neighbors to get the comprehensive care they need. Some of our most recent partnerships support the vital concept of “food as medicine” and strive to ensure people have access to both in one location through collaborations with healthcare providers in our region. We also support community-level strategies to improve access to health care, knowing the many barriers our neighbors face.

For instance, our partnership with MUSC’s Nourish to Flourish Market program delivers fresh produce to the hospital’s renal transplant clinic.

The clinic’s staff found that patients were often faced with the dilemma of being dropped from the transplant list because they didn’t have the food and nourishment needed to maintain their health while waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Since January, we have partnered to ensure patients can leave their appointments with the food they need to remain strong and ready when they get the call!

Is there more Lowcountry Food Bank could be doing? What are ways you think we can support the intersection of food security and health?

About the Lowcountry Food Bank: Feed. Advocate. Empower.

The Lowcountry Food Bank serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina and distributed more than 39 million pounds of food in 2023. The Lowcountry Food Bank helps fight hunger by distributing food to nearly 230 partner agencies including on-site meal programs, homeless shelters and emergency food pantries. The Lowcountry Food Bank advocates on behalf of those who experience hunger and helps empower people to make healthy and nutritious food choices. For more information, visit the Lowcountry Food Bank website.