Food Equity Council Leads COVID-19 Food Assistance Response in Prince George’s County, Maryland
Since the COVID-19 crisis began in March, the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC) has been one of the leading organizations for Prince George’s County’s COVID-19 food assistance response. Housed at IPHI, the FEC’s work has focused on coordinating the diverse partners and County agencies working to address the food assistance response and support residents. During the COVID-19 response, the FEC has increased the support and services it provides to vulnerable residents and communities.
During the month of April 2020, the FEC achieved the following:
Provided direct food donation coordination to partners resulting in over 10,000 prepared meals delivered to residents in need;
Conducted resident food navigation services including connecting residents to food assistance providers;
Coordinated with 211 and the Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline to direct staff to relevant food resources;
Provided County Council members and the County’s Library System with resources to share with their clients and constituents;
Co-Hosted bi-weekly virtual convenings for over 70 food assistance providers, non-profit partners, and County agencies and leadership in partnership with the Department of Social Services.
Coordinated daily with the County Executive’s office, County agencies, regional food councils, and the philanthropic community to ensure we are taking advantage of resources available and implementing promising practices and that there is widespread awareness of the food access needs of residents;
Coordinated with food businesses such as regional food hubs, restaurants, farmers markets, and growers to connect them to market opportunities that address both their needs and the needs of food-insecure residents; and
Provided educational resources and advocacy support for food businesses, growers, farmers markets, and restaurants.
While ramping up efforts to address urgent direct food assistance needs to residents, the FEC remains dedicated to contributing to long-term solutions and building infrastructure to help prepare the County for a future food assistance crisis management.
For more information on the Prince George’s Food Equity Council and to find out how to provide support, contact Sydney Daigle, [email protected].
America’s Public Health Crisis: Declining Life Expectancy & its Systemic Causes
On February 25, 2019, the Institute for Public Health Innovation hosted a webinar examining declining life expectancy trends in the U.S.
In 2018, the CDC released data revealing that U.S. life expectancy declined for the third consecutive year. This is an unprecedented trend in modern society that cuts across demographics and multiple causes. This webinar provided a nuanced and in-depth look at the data on declining life expectancy across racial-ethnic groups from a wide range of conditions and provided recommendations for policymakers in addressing some of the systemic causes.
Dr. Steven H. Woolf provided insight from his recently published study that revealed midlife mortality rates in the U.S. have increased across all racial-ethnic populations from multiple causes, including organ diseases and “deaths of despair.” His discussion included an analysis of this historical progression that indicates midlife mortality rates among non-white populations equaled or even exceeded rates of white populations, offsetting years of progress in lowering mortality rates. He also provided policy levers to reverse this trend.
Dr. Brian D. Smedley spoke to the systemic factors contributing to these racial and ethnic inequities in mortality. His discussion focused on a prominent root cause, racial residential segregation and housing disparities. Dr. Smedley discussed the history of residential segregation, demonstrated its link to racial health inequities, and recommended potential place- and people-based policy interventions.
IPHI Leads Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Training for Project HOPE
On December 3-4, 2018, IPHI facilitated a 2-day workshop on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) with state and local leaders in early childhood education in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The workshop supported Nemours Children’s Health System Project HOPE: Harnessing Opportunity for Positive Equitable Early Childhood Development, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to assist state partners in strengthening their early childhood education systems to promote equity. IPHI adapted their existing curriculum to the needs of state partners in Oklahoma. Content included an overview of definitions and concepts related to EDI utilizing a public health lens, in-depth exploration of a multi-level framework for understanding and undoing structural racism and other forms of oppression, strategies for equitable engagement of partners by analyzing power dynamics, and action planning for the participants to begin integrating equity concepts and strategies into their workplans. IPHI will conduct similar workshops in 2019 with partners in other state-level coalitions that are participating in Project HOPE.