HungerCare's Mission

To improve physical, mental and emotional health outcomes in southwestern Wisconsin by increasing access to healthy, nutritious food, through strategic partnerships with members of the health care community.

Our History

The mission of Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin is to end hunger in southwestern Wisconsin through community partnerships. We meet nearly a million requests for help each year, but there is still a great deal more to do to ensure that no child goes hungry. 

Second Harvest created the HungerCare Coalition in January 2014 to educate health care providers about the health impacts of food insecurity and engage them in the fight against hunger. The coalition is made up of health care partners, public health professionals, and community stakeholders who are interested in exploring the best ways to identify patients who may be at risk of hunger and connect them with needed resources.

With guidance from similar projects across the country, like those led by the Oregon Food Bank and Hunger Free Vermont, HungerCare has helped implement screenings in clinics and hospitals throughout the 16 counties that Second Harvest serves. We are also working with Feeding Wisconsin and our sister food banks around the state to take this initiative statewide.

Project Goals

Short-term (1-3 year) Goals:

  • Development and promotion of educational components targeting health care professionals, emphasizing indicators and long-term impact of hunger

  • Implementation of a clinic-based identification screen for patients (two USDA-validated hunger risk questions) as part of intake protocol

  • Development and integration of appropriate intervention strategies (such as food assistance outreach and education) for their patients and families at risk of hunger

  • Design and distribution of materials that target food insecure households and reduce stigma for use in clinics and other health care settings

  • Development and implementation of high-quality measurement and analysis strategies to ensure thorough evaluation

Long-term Impact:

  • Health care professionals will recognize the implications of hunger on health and become advocates for broad use of screening tool

  • Reduce the instance of hunger among children and families through education and access to community resources to meet their nutritional needs

  • Empower patients to make healthy food choices the easy choice

Get Involved

You and your clinical staff can help your patients access food resources by screening for food insecurity using the 2 USDA-validated screening questions and referring patients to food resources.

If you would like more information about the health consequences of food insecurity, how to screen, and what food resources are available in your area, visit the links below:

  • For information on screening steps for your clinic and how to refer patients to food resources, view Screening Tools.
  • For information on food insecurity, the screening questions, and related research, view About Food Insecurity.
  • For information on resources that can help your patients access the food that they need to be healthy, view Family Resources.
  • For food resource materials and implementation assistance, contact Anne Gargano Ahmed, HungerCare Coalition Coordinator,, (608) 216- 7245.
  • Click here for a printable factsheet about the HungerCare Coalition.
  • Contact us to learn about more ways to get involved.