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Good Health in Region X: Part 2

Tuesday, December 17, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Written by: Alexcia Devasquez, Data & Information Specialist, NWRPCA


Last Month we introduced Good Health in Region X during Diabetes Awareness Month which is a three part series addressing factors related to health and how we can support the underserved in providing better health.


We discussed the facts that most Americans are not having more than one serving of fruits or more than two servings of vegetables per day and how we are doing in talking to all of our patients about healthy diets, you can read more about it here.


This month, we will discuss access, as census study showed that they expect that 70% of people will be buying food online by 2025. We are seeing a specific change of how people purchase food with Amazon launching low-cost versions of Prime to EBT card holders and Medicaid Patients. Amazon is one of the larger grocery chains that is partnering with the USDA lead program working to get food delivery services to people with EBT cards. The USDA program is a pilot program which started in 2016 and was only available in three states, although, earlier this year they announced they expansion into seven states. This expansion includes two states in Region X, Oregon and Washington. The retailers confirmed in the pilot in Region X are Amazon, Walmart and Safeway. Safeway offers EBT delivery for people with disabilities, Walmart allows for EBT purchases for pickup, where Amazon is piloting their program in New York, it applies to items that are delivered as customers are able to put EBT benefits on their Amazon Cash accounts.


Having the programs available to the public is the first step, next is getting the programs into the hands of those who need them. According to the US Census, more than 80% of people in Region X have computers, desktops or laptops while internet access is not as consistent, while approximately 60-70% of people have cellphones but not necessarily have a cellular plan. Many of these folks, if they are using and carrying their cellphone with them, are dependent on Wi-Fi within the community or possibly associated with their home internet plan.



As we know the importance of having Food Prescriptions, and the struggle of getting food into the hands of our residents or patients, how are we able to get internet access to those who need? Can we provide WiFi at our locations? Possibly provide a separate log-in for using online services specifically? Provide computers and staff who can help people set up online accounts or schedule pickups with those large grocers who do accept EBT? Once people have a better idea of how to shop and cook healthy, what can we do to assist in getting the food to their table?







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