Date of Publication
Background: 27% of all veterans are food insecure. From 2018-2020, only 1% of veterans seeking care at the VA in White River Junction, VT were identified as food insecure. As a result, an overwhelming number of eligible veterans are not getting vital resources to become food secure.
Purpose: Provide education to interdisciplinary primary care teams about food insecurity, how to use the screening tool effectively, and what resources are available to veterans both within the VA system and in the community.
Methods: Quantitative data was obtained from the food insecurity screener to determine how many veterans were being screened positive for food insecurity before and after training sessions. Qualitative data was obtained from participants to identify knowledge gaps about prevalence of food insecurity and available resources as well as understand participant’s screening practices.
Findings: Post-training results did not show an increase in the number of food insecure veterans or an increase in the number of referrals being made to the Dietary or Social work departments. Qualitative data demonstrated a lack of knowledge of available food security resources. Screeners surveyed revealed that there is no consistency in how the screener is being utilized across primary care teams.
Conclusion: Further investigation into the utilization of the food insecurity screener is recommended in order to identify food insecure veterans. A team of stakeholders is necessary to set a standard for assessing food insecurity in veterans, disseminating information, and educating all primary care team staff.
Farah, Elizabeth; Garbarino, Jason; and Alberty, Mary, "Improving Food Insecurity Screening and Utilization of Services for Veterans" (2021). College of Nursing and Health Sciences Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project Publications. 63.