Health Center Initiative

Our healthcare professional partners at Cambridge Health Alliance: Lisa Brukilacchio, director of Somerville Community Health Agenda, Dr. Amy Smith, and Nawang Tsomo

Addressing hunger for what it is — a public health issue

Addressing hunger for what it is—a public health issue

Research has shown hunger affects health in profound ways. People experiencing food insecurity will get sick more often, are more likely to be hospitalized, and have higher rates of obesity, depression, and chronic illness. At every age, hunger will take a toll on physical and mental health, but for children the consequences are particularly severe.

Project Bread teams up with clinicians at community health centers across the state to diagnose hunger and prescribe solutions.

Our Approach

When a certain expertise is needed, doctors will refer their patient to see a specialist. For food insecurity, that specialist is Project Bread:

  • Food Insecurity Screenings & Referrals. Health centers are a safe and non-stigmatizing environment. When a doctor asks about hunger, it’s a matter of health and not a question of income. By partnering with health centers to screen their patients for food-insecurity, we can provide food-assistance to those who may not otherwise seek it. And Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline counselors follow up with every patient to ensure they get connected to the resources and program they need.

Impact of our work: 2017


For information on how hospitals can help those in need, download the "Hunger in the Community: Ways Hospitals Can Help" hospital handbook.