Food boxes and care kits: Health Dept offers new types of support
Published 1:15 am Sunday, May 21, 2023
The Piedmont Health District of the Virginia Health Department has two new programs to help community members struggling with COVID-19 or food insecurities. That’s done through partnerships with Feed More and Unite Us to launch The COVID-19 Care Kit and The Healthy Food Box programs.
The COVID-19 Care Kit Program is funded through the Rural Health Grant to fund a COVID-19-specific project. These kits will provide a reusable grocery bag, at-home Covid test kits, hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes, chicken noodle soup, Pedialyte and a get-well-soon card signed by the staff. These kits are available for community members fighting the virus and need a little extra support.
“This is a way we can show that we care and help while they are home sick,” said Kaycie Porter, community health worker for the Piedmont Health District.
A healthy food box
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The second program is The Healthy Food Box Program. For these boxes, the Piedmont Health District has partnered with Feed More to supply the food for the boxes. These will be available for community members caught in an emergency food shortage. This can be due to supply shortages, not being able to get by until the next food pantry or not being qualified for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) but still facing hardships. The Healthy Food Box will include shelf-stable food items like rice, pasta and vegetables.
“We came up with this as a team as many community members could be in need as food prices continue to go up and in light of the emergency benefits of SNAP being lifted,” said Porter.
These kits will be delivered by the new team of Community Health Workers. The team plans to have kits at each of the local health departments so that whenever someone calls there will already be one close by.
If you or someone you know needs a Care Kit or Food Box, call the hotline number at 434-392-8187 x 137 and leave a message with your name and number and a Community Health Worker will get back to you. The health department is currently working on an online referral platform where people can fill out self-referrals to receive a box or kit.