Second Harvest Heartland is a major regional food bank serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. In the past 2 years, our organization has devoted increasing amounts of attention and resources to the interplay between food and health. We launched our FOODRx initiative in 2016. Currently, FOODRx is evaluating the impact of healthy foods on low-income populations with chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Our organization is now looking to extend this work by collaborating with local Native American communities to address food insecurity, healthy food access and chronic health concerns. We have in place a framework for work such as this, and our Native community partners will drive conversations and decision making about program implementation and use of resources.
Minneapolis is home to one of the largest urban Native American populations in the United States. On the whole, the population is disproportionately impacted by health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Our partners have identified an opportunity to cooperatively address food insecurity, lack of access to healthy foods and to improve health outcomes for community members. Our current FOODRx framework provides an opportunity for the partners to test and evaluate various community-driven approaches to this work.