EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — It is not uncommon for a Borderland resident to have an underlying health condition. A new El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank program hopes to help, and it’s using food to do it.
The food bank is preparing to launch El Paso’s first ‘Food FARMacy.’ The program will allow Borderland residents with certain health conditions to receive the healthy food their condition requires. Patients will receive a food prescription from a medical professional and will be able to fill that prescription inside the new facility.
Those conditions could include heart disease and diabetes.
“People want healthy foods. They need healthy foods,” said El Pasoans Fighting Hunger CEO Susan Goodell. “Unfortunately, they can’t afford them. So by changing the items available to our lowest-income neighbors, to make things like healthy fruits and vegetables and healthy yogurts available to our children, to our seniors and to our working adults, we can change the health of this community.”
Goodell says many people need to eat healthier due to health conditions, but are unable to afford the diet.
“When we talk to our clients who are prescribed special diets because of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, when they are given those special diets with healthy foods, they go to the grocery store and they very rapidly realize that they cannot afford the diet that their doctors have prescribed to them,” Goodell said. “If we cannot control our diet, we can not control our health. Food is health.”
The food bank is now solidifying partnerships with local hospitals and clinics.
Goodell expects the new facility to open early next month. It will first serve as a client-choice food pantry. The food bank plans to convert the building into the ‘Food FARMacy’ as soon as COVID-19 cases decline.