A growing concern in community health care is the need of people to be able to buy food to feed themselves and their families. Food insecurity is described by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food” (Coleman-Jenson, Nord, & Singh, 2013, p. 3). In the article ‘America’s new hunger crisis’ by Ned Resnikoff the issue of increasing hunger for Americans is raised since the recession hit in 2009. In the article ‘Americans struggling to afford food are also skipping medications’ by David McNamee the issue of skipping or not taking medication is raised so that food can be purchased. Making these decisions is a hard reality for too many people. Problem length
Food shortages have been a concern since the beginning of civilization. Storing food and grain for future use by groups of people is not a new thought process. One can surmise that not taking medication to be able to buy food has been happening as long as patients have been receiving prescriptions because people work and earn wages to be able to take care of their families. Community affects
Patients that are skipping or not taking their medications as prescribed has a direct impact on the health care community. Repeat visits with health care providers and repeat admissions to the emergency room or as an inpatient in the hospital are direct causes of not taking medications correctly or at all. When patients skip medication and have repeat visits or admissions to hospitals they must be given the education to understand the cycle they are going to continue to live through. Community response
Communities, to help combat the food insecurity problems in their neighborhoods, have created food banks, donations, food stamps, and charity programs. Food drives in communities help stock the food banks and charities that donate food to needy people. Government programs also supply food to needy people. However, with all of the donations and food assistance there are still people struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Drug companies have established programs to help people afford their medications at no cost or reduced cost. Applying for assistance is not widely advertised and people may not know they can ask for help with affording their medications. These programs help some people but are not available to everyone who may need assistance.
Coleman-Jenson, A., Nord, M., & Singh, A. (2013). Household Food Security in the United States in 2012 (UDSA-155). Retrieved from United States Department of Agriculture website: www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err155.aspx