Nutritious food plays a vital role in our overall health. Yet too many low-income communities lack equitable access to nutritious, affordable, fresh foods. Limited access makes it difficult to eat the specified diet necessary for managing or preventing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or obesity. That’s why Food Lifeline is launching a pilot project with Sea Mar Community Health Centers to provide nutrient-dense, diabetes-appropriate food. The success of the project means bringing this program to health clinics across Western Washington.
Making a Difference in Diabetes: How a Partnership Between Food Lifeline & Sea Mar Medical Clinic is Helping Adolfina
It’s been almost a decade since Adolfina fled Honduras. Life was hard there and work was scarce. She came to the United States with hopes for something better—and she’s largely found it. She lives with her brother and a few roommates, and takes on side jobs like sewing, child care, and house cleaning to make ends meet.
To the average middle-class American, that life sounds crowded and cobbled together, but for Adolfina it’s relatively quiet, gentle, and low stress. Adolfina’s children have settled throughout the country since coming here. She’s proud of their hard work and their strong education and doesn’t worry about taking care of them anymore, which is good because managing her diabetes is a lot of work.
About the time Adolfina moved to Seattle, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She said of the experience, “What else could you do? Knowing you’re sick… [you need] courage to go forward.” Today, Adolfina feels that her diabetes is fairly well controlled by the medications she’s on “as far as symptoms go anyway”, but she knows that if she could eat better, she would have fewer problems and feel even better. She might even be able to stop using one or more of her medications if she could manage her diet differently.
When she was referred to Sea Mar Medical Clinic’s health education and their new vegetable program in partnership with Food Lifeline, Adolfina was excited because money for fruits and vegetables can be difficult to find after rent and her medications. She’s excited about this program because it will make a difference with her diabetes and help her to feel better!