Dr. Hilary Seligman’s work in meals insecurity started with a affected person. When she requested a person identified with prediabetes what he ate for lunch, he instructed her: It was overflowing and the one factor he may afford.

Dr. Hilary Seligman
Dr. Hilary Seligman

SeligmanHe’s a 40-year-old professor of medication. epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF and is on the school Weak Inhabitants Heart at SF Normal Hospital. He’s additionally a meals coverage professional, working with and founding the Facilities for Illness Management and America’s Vitamin Heart. EatSF:, which works to convey wholesome meals to low-income residents. He says 1 in 4 San Franciscans is meals insecure.

EatSF has pioneered Vouchers 4 Veggies (V4V), which supplies individuals entry to recent vegetables and fruit totally free or at low price. V4V additionally operates as a pilot program in Los Angeles. The group additionally works with the San Francisco Division of Public Well being and A particular supplemental diet program for girls, infants and kids.

Initially from Houston, Seligman got here to the Bay Space in 2000 to finish his residency in inner medication at UCSF and by no means left. He’s a member of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco.

Inform me how the EatSF program works.

EatSF is a wholesome meals voucher program. We’re constructing the monetary infrastructure for San Francisco neighborhood organizations and clinics to offer vouchers. Consider it as a prescription for vegetables and fruit. When a physician writes you a prescription, there may be an infrastructure in place so that you can take that piece of paper, that digital prescription, to the pharmacy the place that prescription is stuffed. As a physician I questioned what it might take to get [patients] wholesome meals, there is no such thing as a such system. So what we have determined to do…is construct that infrastructure. You’ll be able to take that voucher to your local people market or grocery retailer or farmers market and they’ll acknowledge it and allow you to redeem it for wholesome meals.

What makes meals insecurity completely different within the Bay Space?

Any space that’s actually costly to stay in could have excessive ranges of meals insecurity as a result of folks have restricted budgets. The extra money you spend in your lease, the much less cash it’s a must to spend in your meals. That is one thing that works in opposition to us in San Francisco. There are additionally many alternatives in San Francisco. Now we have grocery shops and farmers markets in virtually each a part of city. We even have lots of people locally who’re actually invested in higher dietary consumption and entry to wholesome meals for everybody in San Francisco. [EatSF’s] The objective is for each particular person in San Francisco, no matter revenue, race, or spiritual background, to have entry to wholesome vegetables and fruit.

Why is it essential?

Now we have an weight problems and diabetes epidemic within the US. That epidemic is admittedly because of the flood of empty energy which might be current in our meals system and the advertising and marketing of those meals into each a part of our human surroundings. Not surprisingly, folks’s consumption of wholesome meals has declined considerably over the previous 40 and 50 years. Not surprisingly, weight problems and diabetes additionally skyrocketed throughout that point. Now we have an enormous meals system drawback.

It is EatSF supported by foundations and particular person funders. What can unusual folks do to struggle meals insecurity of their communities?

You’ll be able to help your native meals financial institution. You’ll be able to be sure you discuss to your elected officers in regards to the significance of meals insecurity in your district. There are people who find themselves meals insecure in each neighborhood in San Francisco and each county within the Bay Space. It is actually essential that we remind our elected officers that we predict this situation is essential. We will vote for leaders who share our issues about meals insecurity. We are the richest nation on the earth, and if one in 10 households in the US is meals insecure, I believe it is an actual disgrace for the US. We have to actually be sure that we’re voting to help insurance policies that assist folks be extra meals safe.

Do Jewish values ​​affect what you do?

My work is knowledgeable by my Jewish upbringing, which emphasised compassion, cooperation, neighborhood, and naturally, tzedakah. Judaism additionally emphasizes the worth of straightforward kindness to sick folks, which incorporates, after all, one thing to eat.

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