The Diabetes Wellness Program builds on partnerships with community clinics to address the dual problems of hunger and diabetes. Clients are first screened for diabetes, then receive a free monthly food box with healthy foods and fresh produce, recipes, cooking tips, and diabetes self-management education materials.
As of July 2014, REFB is wrapping up a 2.5 year research and evaluation project to assess the effectiveness of the DWP. Preliminary data suggests that the program has a positive impact on participants' diabetes control, depression, and food security status.
Innovative Program: Diabetes Wellness Program (DWP)
Food Bank: Redwood Empire Food Bank (Sonoma County)
Program Goal: To improve the health, wellness, and outcomes of low-income adults in Sonoma County who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who face food-insecurity.
Program Description: In order to reach our goal, the REFB works to:
- Conduct community screenings to identify low-income adults who are at risk for T2DM.
- Distribute a monthly Diabetes Wellness food box to project participants that includes fresh produce and healthy staple foods.
- Collaborate with local community health centers to refer food bank clients with T2DM into primary care and enroll existing health center patients into the food box program.
- Provide a range of diabetes self-management education materials to Diabetes Wellness food box recipients.
- Conduct group Diabetes Self-Management Education classes.
- Operate a mobile food pantry and diabetes education center to reach rural and underserved communities affected by food insecurity and diabetes.
- Track aspects of participants’ health, diabetes self-care, and food security status by administering surveys and conducting A1c testing throughout the duration of the project.
- Contribute to the body of knowledge on food insecurity and diabetes management by participating in a national pilot project with two other food banks.
The REFB Diabetes Wellness Program van at work.
Tools & Program Materials:
- Mobile van (Sprinter)
- Medical testing supplies
- Education supplies
- Diabetes wellness food boxes & fresh produce
The Diabetes Wellness Program was originally a 3-year pilot project funded through the Feeding America Diabetes Initiative and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. The DWP is now a permanent program at the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Annual expenses will be supported through a combination of program-specific grants, donations, and general fund allocations.
In-Depth Program Information:
Diabetes Wellness Program – Redwood Empire Food Bank web pages
Meeting Dual Needs: A Novel Food Bank Initiative Addressing Diabetes and Hunger – case study by Morgan Smith, RN, PHN, CDE; Diabetes Wellness Program Lead, Redwood Empire Food Bank, published in the American Association of Diabetes Educators' AADE In Practice (note: full PDF requires payment)
Case Study of Diabetes Wellness Program – by Feeding America
Media Coverage of Diabetes Wellness Program
Morgan Smith, RN, PHN, CDE;
Diabetes Wellness Program Lead.
707-523-7900, ext. 135