The faces of our community outreach programs are low-income, food insecure Hispanic and African American adults, living with diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension and obesity. More than one-third are over 60 years old. These characteristics match the demographics identified by the CDC as being at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Since the onset of this pandemic we have been working to get food pantries desperately needed personal protection equipment and hygiene materials so they can stay open. We have created and distributed educational information about the importance of social distancing, directions for proper handwashing, tips for managing stress through personal calls and flyers in multiple languages. Because of the strong correlation between mental health and physical health, calls to participants strengthen their resolve to keep on track with health goals, cope with existing diabetes and hypertension, and offer hope when it is absent.
We are committed to helping our underserved communities return to a state of good health. Whether it is virous or antibody testing, contact tracing, education or additional health interventions yet to be determined, we are ramping up today to meet the needs of these communities and ensure a healthier tomorrow.