The Community Caring Center is partnering with Community Link Mission to provide free case management and mental health counseling to those people visiting our food pantry that are struggling financially. Those having difficulty putting food on their table are experiencing food insecurity which can negatively impact their mental health. The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. For people facing food insecurity, they often experience chronic stress, anxiety, and depression due to the constant worry about where their next meal will come from. Will the food pantry still be giving out food when I get there? Will I need to take care of my grandchildren during the summer, further depleting my supply of food? Will the increase in my rent cut into my food budget which is already stretched due to increased food costs?
A CDC study from July 2022 on food insecurity in America, found that food insecurity is associated with a 257% higher risk of anxiety and a 253% higher risk of depression.
The psychological strain of food insecurity can bring on increased rates of mental health disorders and hinder a person’s well-being. The lack of proper nutrition associated with food insecurity can also impact brain development and function. This can contribute to cognitive impairments, worsening mental health.
Our staff works to make our clients feel welcomed and provide a hand up, not a hand out, but some clients may still feel disgraced due to their circumstances. The stigma surrounding food insecurity can cause feelings of shame, isolation, and low self esteem, further deteriorating mental stability.
A case manager and mental health counselor will take into account the whole person, looking at both mental and social factors to develop interventions that address both food insecurity and mental health needs.
For many years now we have had a trusting relationship with Community Link. We are very excited about this partnership as it will bring a new dimension of care to the clients of our food pantry. If you are struggling with food insecurity please contact Community Link at www.communitylinkmission.org or at 817-301-3415 to see if you qualify for a free appointment with a case manager.