Food insecurity is an indicator of the percentage of the population experiencing limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate food for their well being. Food insecurity is closely associated with income levels, employment, and the development of chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and mental health issues. The annual income needed by a one-parent family with a preschooler and school-age child to maintain self-sufficiency in DuPage County in 2011 was $65,321.
In cooperation with Impact DuPage, Loaves & Fishes monitors important indicators that tell the story of our community needs.
Additional Articles and Information
- FARE – Food Access Raises Everyone
- 2018 Hunger Summit
- Addressing Food Insecurity in Health Care Settings
- Heartland Alliance Annual Poverty Report
- Food Insecurity, the Federal Nutrition Programs and Health
- Food Security Symposium at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital
- “Food Security in the U.S.” United States Department of Agriculture
- “Hunger is a Vital Sign; Vaccinating Communities Against Hunger By Empowering Food-Insecure Families.” Dr. John Cook, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and a Principal Investigator for Children’s HealthWatch.
- DuPage Hunger Study 2014 Prepared for Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Community Health Partners
Loaves & Fishes is working with service organizations in our community to address food insecurity issues effectively and conveniently. The following information provides a brief description of recommended protocol for our community health partners.
USE THE HUNGER VITAL SIGN TO IDENTIFY FOOD INSECURITY
The “Hunger Vital Sign” is a simplified, two-question screening tool that can be used by agency partners to assess households for food insecurity. The screening questions are included below in both English and Spanish.
INVITE THE CLIENT TO VISIT LOAVES & FISHES
All households served by our community health partners are welcome to visit Loaves & Fishes at 1871 High Grove Lane in Naperville to shop for food during our grocery hours. Partners are encouraged to issue a Loaves & Fishes Service Voucher to visiting families to identify your referrals.
Note: Service Vouchers should be obtained directly from Loaves & Fishes staff. They cannot be copied, and are not transferable.
SHOPPING ON BEHALF OF YOUR CLIENT
If your client is unable to come to the market to pick up food, your agency representative can shop our grocery store on behalf of the client, or request pre-packed food boxes for pick up.
To place an order for a pre-packed food box for your client.
A client signature is needed for every food pick up. Proxy forms are used for all off – site food distributions.
To provide information on Loaves & Fishes Community Services.
Food Security Council
While DuPage County has a solid and committed group of Emergency Food Providers, food security is a complex issue involving the availability, affordability and accessibility of healthy and nutritious foods for all income levels in all communities. DuPage County needs a structured approach to address and coordinate community efforts that build food security and support well-being goals for all households. In building a cross sector forum for discussion and information exchange, DuPage County will advance all levels of the community food system.
As a beginning effort, Loaves & Fishes Community Services hosted a Food Security Symposium on September 22, 2017, at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL. The Symposium focused on informing key stakeholders from across DuPage County about food insecurity issues, introduced innovative strategies that promote food security, and engaged community participants in discussions to build a strong food system in DuPage County.
From those initial discussions, subgroups were formed to further investigate key objectives for the county. The Nutrition Education and Community Training group will collaborate with agencies throughout DuPage to provide consistent and ongoing access to nutrition education. The Grower Coordination group will build agricultural initiatives in the county and build grower connections to schools and other local institutions. The Defining Parameters group will work to develop countywide measures or indicators that assess good food systems.
Moving forward, the Food Security Council will continue to engage the community in discussions that promote better access to healthy and affordable foods for all cultures and economic groups. The council will strive to build food security in DuPage County through the development of food systems which are accessible, sustainable, and health promoting. The council meetings will provide opportunities to inform community members of initiatives and network with organizations that contribute to this success.