WELLSTAR MOBILE MARKET PROGRAM EXPANDS TO FEED 700 AT-RISK FAMILIES EACH MONTH
Initiative led by Wellstar Center for Health Equity in collaboration with Goodr adds community partners to offer healthy food distribution and health resources to vulnerable communities across Georgia
Wellstar Health System, one of Georgia’s largest and most integrated healthcare systems, and the Wellstar Center for Health Equity have expanded the “Wellstar on Wheels: Mobile Market” program to feed more than 700 Metro Atlanta at-risk families every month across six Georgia counties. In collaboration with Goodr, the joint initiative addresses food access for vulnerable communities in Wellstar’s service areas and provides re-distribution of food resources for people in need.
The Mobile Market program expansion includes seven pilot community-based locations that will provide free, fresh, and healthy food options monthly to 100 families in need at each location. Through Wellstar Foundation and vital community funding, Goodr will provide food and staffing support for this program, register participants, and provide impact reporting each month. Wellstar will provide program logistical support, participant incentives, nutrition education, and free COVID testing. New community partners will help recruit volunteers and set up food distribution sites in key service areas, including Troup, Fulton, Spalding, Paulding, Cobb, and Douglas counties
Wellstar selected 2021 Mobile Market community partners with the designated service area include:
- Calumet Park Neighborhood Association (Troup)
- Carelink of Northwest Georgia, Inc. (Paulding)
- Center for Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully Inc. (Fulton)
- First Presbyterian Church of Douglasville (Douglas)
- McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church (Cobb)
- New Mercy Partner Services (Spalding)
- Roswell Organization for Community Development (Fulton)
The “Wellstar on Wheels: Mobile Market” program has expanded to feed more than 700 Metro Atlanta at-risk families every month across six Georgia counties.
Our communities are more food insecure than ever before with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Shara Wesley, executive director, Wellstar Center for Health Equity. “By creating equitable and consistent food access points with healthy options, Wellstar hopes to break down barriers that create nutrition disparity and food insecurity, while enhancing the wellness of the people and communities we serve.”
Launched Nov.14, 2020, the “Wellstar on Wheels: Mobile Market” program aims to address food insecurity with a routine and reliable food source in the communities served by Wellstar. Clients are pre-registered for the events and are able to choose items that are culturally sensitive and appealing to their households. To adhere to the CDC’s social distancing measures, Wellstar’s food distribution partner Goodr has revamped its traditional pop-up experience to provide a quick, safe way for families to walk or drive through the event and select free groceries. To address the need for accessible COVID-19 testing, the Wellstar Community Health team and selected community partners will provide clients with PCR tests.
According to Feeding America, more than 1 million Georgians struggle with hunger, and approximately 400,000 are children. Funded by the Wellstar Foundation, the Mobile Market program serves targeted populations that are at higher risk for food insecurity, such as children, senior adults and minority communities. Access to healthy food choices addresses a salient and vital community need that impacts health and wellbeing – a disparity that Wellstar’s Center for Health Equity is focused on alleviating with grassroots initiatives that deliver on “More than healthcare. PeopleCare.
“Wellstar continues to build on our longstanding legacy of improving the future and quality of healthcare in Georgia,” said Julie Teer, senior vice president, Wellstar Health System and president of the Wellstar Foundation. “Through the generous support of the community and our work with partnering organizations, Wellstar has committed to enhancing health equity across the state.”