The most serious and immediate impact of homelessness, being without shelter over one’s head, another very real impact of homelessness is lack of adequate nutrition.
Not everyone is privileged to shop for food at their local farmer’s market, Whole Foods or the “organic” section of the grocery store. Due to the way our food industry is run fresh, organic, produce is most often much higher priced than packaged and processed foods. Those who are homeless usually have no way of preparing fresh produce, therefore must rely on packaged convenience foods. Although canned and packaged food donations are always appreciated, they often lack the nutrients that fresh seasonal veggies and fruits have. Nutrients and antioxidants have two main health benefits, firstly they help protect the body from oxidant stress and diseases and secondly they help the body fight against these by boosting its immunity. Understandably we function best when we are fed a healthy diet; therefore those suffering from prolonged stress are most in need.
This is why Union Mission is thrilled to have just begun their newest community partnership with Local FarmBag. Local FarmBag is a subscription service that delivers fresh seasonal, produce to Savannahians weekly. Since they have partnered with Union Mission, they have donated crates upon crates of fresh veggies and fruits to UMI’s temporary shelters. Most recently, Maggie and I helped bring in a delivery of zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots; all of which will be incorporated in meals for Grace House (a shelter for men) and Magdalene Project (a shelter for women and children).
Just think of all the ways clients’ lives can benefit from other community partnerships that could help them with living in a healthier manner! If you are interested in helping end the struggle that those homeless face in trying to live healthily, please reach out to Union Mission and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.