Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) began a partnership with the Healing Meals Community Project when both organizations realized they shared the same values and held similar goals for addressing the social determinants of health.
Healing Meals is a leader in creating communities where food heals. Their mission is to provide healthy organic meals for people in a health crisis while fostering compassion and empowering youth and adult volunteers in their communities.
In 2019, the University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research conducted a small pilot study, “Nutrition As An Intervention for Individuals Living With Mental Health Conditions,” to explore the impact of nutrition and mental health. We started with a big question: if food is medicine for our bodies, why not our minds and hearts?
The pilot study revealed some critical “ahas” and validated some initial theories but, most importantly, it raised important questions that called for a broader community collaboration. These areas include the impact of nutrition education, food access, and community support and connection.
As such, we are currently building a broader community collaboration in the Torrington/Litchfield area of CT. Leaders, advocates, and recipients of services are in the exploratory phases (as of December 2020) of clarifying programmatic and public policy efforts that will have the greatest impact moving forward.
To learn more about this initiative, contact Suzi Craig, Chief Strategy Officer, at SCraig@mhconn.org.