Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) in Lebanon is collaborating with community partners around the region to improve food access amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontline health care workers at D-HH have identified that elderly and immunocompromised patients and community members are lacking resources to find food options that could be delivered to their homes.
“It’s been difficult for some of my patients to know what resources exist,” says Roshani R. Patel, MD, a surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester, who helped inspire the project over concerns for her vulnerable patients. “They are overwhelmed. Many can pay for food but can’t find a central location to see what their options are.”
Identification of this gap led to the development of a web-based resource called “Neighborhood Provisions.” The website will facilitate food distribution by identifying those resources for patients and community members who should not be going out to pick up prepared food or groceries due to the increased risk of infection.
Resources on the website include a listing of restaurants, small grocers and farms, support and delivery help. The website will also facilitate donations to food shelves to provide access to groceries to individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity and hunger due to economic circumstances.
Participating businesses will be listed on the website to make it easy for people to order food and have it delivered. For businesses that do not have direct delivery services, volunteers will be available to bring the food and supplies safely to their neighbors in need.
In addition to D-HH, those involved with the project include the Upper Valley Haven, Granite United Way, the Greater Manchester Chamber, the Upper Valley Business Alliance and Image Relay as the digital liaison between the website and the user. Families in Transition and the office of Manchester's Mayor Joyce Craig are also involved in the project.
Neighborhood Provisions is a pilot program in the Upper Valley and Manchester. It will continue for as long as necessary to address the COVID-19 crisis. If successful, it may become a permanent part of the food supply landscape to help those most vulnerable.