At the height of the pandemic, Dr. Amy Smith, a Family Medicine Specialist, was called to action when a respiratory clinician called her with a concern brought on by COVID-19. The result is a partnership with area nutrition nonprofits that aims to address food insecurity — while reducing the spread of the virus.
In the spring, a respiratory clinician contacted Dr. Amy Smith regarding a COVID-19 patient who was soon to be released to recover at home. The clinician’s concern was one of food insecurity, as the patient expressed he/she did not have enough money to feed their family. Realizing that the risk of spreading the virus would increase when this individual waited in line at a food pantry, Dr. Smith determined that a solution was necessary. That solution was her now continued effort in the community to partner with local nutrition nonprofits to address food insecurity in these uncertain and albeit different times.
So far, Dr. Smith’s initiative has collaborated with Food For Free, the Malden YMCA and Maverick Landing Community Services. This has resulted in delivering groceries to nearly 700 COVID-19 patients in Massachusetts. Her team at Cambridge Health Alliance accomplishes this by screening patients for food insecurity at the time of their treatment. This effort has addressed a very serious problem with a very productive solution!