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Summit partners with Community Food Bank to offer diabetes treatment program

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The Summit Medical Group Foundation and the Community Foodbank of New Jersey have partnered with seven faith-based agencies in the state on a new initiative to combat diabetes northern and central New Jersey.

The new initiative, “Food, Health and Hope: An Answer to Diabetes,” will provide free diabetes-friendly food boxes twice per month, as well as free screenings, foot exams and education on the disease.

The initiative will target patients in Essex, Passaic and Union counties, where an estimated 7.2 percent to 10.6 percent of the population is affected by diabetes.

“We are thrilled to announce this essential initiative and collaboration with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to address the state’s growing diabetes epidemic,” Joe Finocchiaro, Summit Medical Group Foundation executive director, said in a press release.

“FHH Diabetes will build upon our pilot project last year, which provided more than 2,500 screenings and exemplified a true willingness of consumers to participate in local, free medical screenings at the site where they received food. We are honored to be an integral part of this statewide effort to deal with the challenge of diabetes in New Jersey and work towards changing people’s lives.”

Montclair State University’s CREEHS will serve as the program’s evaluator because of the center’s strong public health focus.

The program will also:

  • Provide referrals and support to help clients gain access to medical homes, diabetes self-management education and medical monitoring per the American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care inDiabetes.
  • Provide nutrition education through the USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program at food distributions to encourage healthy lifestyles.   
  • Provide access to low-cost diabetes medications, when prescribed by local providers, through the Diabetes Foundation Inc.
  • Improve the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for diabetes self-care. Community FoodBank of New Jersey clients participating in the program will be asked to remain in the program from start to finish.

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Vince Calio

Vince Calio

Vince Calio covers health care and manufacturing for NJBIZ. You can contact him at vcalio@njbiz.com.

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