Heartland Health Donates $65000 to Second Harvest for Fresh Produce

Heartland Health Donates $65000 to Second Harvest for Fresh Produce

January 15, 2014

St. Joseph, Mo. — The Heartland Health Board of Trustees approved a $65,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. The contribution will help provide 250,000 pounds of fresh produce to individuals served by the Backpack Buddies program, Fresh Start and the Regional Fresh Produce Distribution program.

“For too many area residents, the cost of food virtually eliminates fresh fruits and vegetables from their diets. One of the outcomes is obesity as a result of eating more and more calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food to satisfy hunger, said Mark Laney, MD, president and CEO of Heartland Health and Mosaic Life Care. “We saw an opportunity to turn the tide with Second Harvest Food Bank.”

The IRS has set new requirements for non-profit (Section 501(c) (3)) hospitals that include completing a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Heartland conducted this assessment not only due to this requirement, but also because it is the right thing to do. The CHNA is vital to our mission of improving the health of individuals and communities in our region. This assessment will ensure that our efforts are directed toward the health issues that are of the most importance to the people we serve.  Heartland will conduct a CHNA every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified through the assessment.

By combining the data from the community survey, external data sources and the community focus groups, the top three community health needs were determined:

  • Mental Health services
  • Adult and childhood obesity
  • Education on health and health resources

One of the initiatives in the action plan to address the issue of adult and childhood obesity is to increase access to healthy food in underserved areas and food deserts. Heartland’s donation to Second Harvest Community Food Bank aligns with this purpose.