Although we sometimes try, the mission we have taken on cannot be accomplished all by ourselves. The issue of food insecurity, specifically for children, is not something that can be solved with a magic bullet. It will take many organizations working from different angles to truly create long-term change and improvement in health outcomes.
H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem has been extremely fortunate to have connected on numerous partnerships over the years that have continued to this day. From our initial start-up as a nonprofit organization, which was generously supported by Centenary United Methodist Church, we have had opportunities to partner with some amazing people and organizations. We do want to give a shout out to our good friends at HOPE Community Church, who help prepare and distribute meals and fresh produce each weekend, and to the amazing folks at W.R. Vernon Produce Company, who has been a consistent produce donor since our inception.
Collaborative efforts are also realized with our friends at WF Baptist/Atrium and Wake Forest School of Medicine. Over the past few years, we have been fortunate to work on research projects with medical professionals and researchers. This work has truly informed our organization and made us smarter. From the What a City Eats research project to the Fresh Food RX project run during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, this collaboration has been the inspiration for our Neighborhood Market, enhancements to our meals/produce selections as well as targeted produce prescription projects. Wake Forest School of Medicine has partnered with us on our Sunday Meal & Produce Distributions over the past many years. This collaboration is focused on 3rd year medical students having the opportunity to better understand social determinants of health. It is done by these students joining us on our Sunday Truck route and helping provide food supplies to children and their families. It is truly a win-win situation that truly brings the “Food is Medicine” mantra to life.