Starting this month, EatSF is partnering with Black Infant Health (BIH) to expand our fruit and vegetable voucher program into the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. Due to funding through the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Community Health Equity and Promotion (CHEP) Branch’s Promoting a Culture of Health Grant opportunity, we are able to partner with BIH to support their mission of improving the birth outcomes and health disparities affecting African American women and their infants. EatSF will work with BIH to enroll prenatal mothers into the EatSF program, where they will receive $40 each month in fruit and vegetable vouchers, to support them in improving their nutrition during critical months in their pregnancies.
BIH is located in the heart of Western Addition and provides services to approximately 100 African American mothers and their children each year. In the United States, African American mothers and infants are at a higher risk of adverse health outcomes when compared to the general population. In San Francisco alone, African American infants are twice as likely to be born low birthweight and preterm in comparison to the White population. In addition, infant mortality in this population is three time the rate of the general San Francisco population under 1 year of age. Therefore, this partnership is crucial to ensure that this population receives the support they need to increase food security, improve maternal health, and increase the chances of full-term pregnancies and thriving babies.
In addition to working with BIH, this partnership serves as a launching pad to extend EatSF into the Western Addition. We hope to increase the partnerships we have with community-based organizations in the Western Addition to improve healthy eating behaviors, decrease food insecurity, and economically support healthy food vendors in this community for years to come.