What is exactly is “Food Insecurity” and why is important for people with chronic disease like HIV? The defining characteristic of food insecurity is that during a given year, the food intake of an individual is reduced and their normal eating patterns are disrupted because they lack money for food.

South Florida may seem rich but nearly a million local residents are struggling to feed themselves. According to Feeding America’s Meal Gap study, approximately 949,910 people in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.

That number ranks Florida the 5th-worst among all states, and Miami-Dade is the 11th worst county nationwide regarding food security. This is of particular importance for the HIV affected community because people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) also tend to come from communities that are economically disadvantaged.

According to a study performed by Robertson MJ, et al., the urban poor are disproportionately affected by HIV. An obvious barrier, according to Robertson, to HIV treatment and adherence among the urban poor is food insecurity. There is growing recognition in the research and medical communities that a lack of nutritious food may speed HIV disease progression and impede antiretroviral treatment efficacy.

Food insecurity has also been found to be associated with PLWHA postponing needed medications and care, and increased their emergency department use and hospitalization.

To further understand the impact of food insecurity on people with chronic diseases such as HIV; researchers found that nearly one in three U.S. adults with a chronic disease have problems paying for food, medicine, or both.

According to a recent article published in The Atlantic, nearly one in four PLWHA said they had skipped medication dosages because of cost. More than one in ten said they had problems paying for both food and medication.

Conversely, research released in January 2014 in the American Journal of Medicine, shows that access to nutritious food can be a form of preventive medicine. Preventative medicine is extremely important for PLWHA and other chronic diseases.

Clearly, PLWHA should not have to choose between food and medication. Poverell, offers nutritious food to the neediest PLWHA in order to address food insecurity in Broward County. But it is still not enough. A recent longitudinal study of PLWHA demonstrated that 42% of PLWHA who were receiving food assistance were still food insecure.

In order to address food insecurity, Poverello relies heavily on donations from readers like you. Without the continued financial support of the community, Poverello could not achieve its goal of providing much needed nutritious food to PLWHA in Broward County.

Poverello Live Well Center
Poverello Live Well Center shared ABC World News Tonight with David Muir's video.5 h ago
Poverello Live Well Center
ABC World News Tonight with David Muir
THE LAWYER: The verdict is in for one Houston law school graduate and her five children - they are fighters with an inspiring message to all. Tom Llamas reports. #TheComeback https://abcn.ws/2qChoy7
Poverello Live Well Center
Poverello Live Well Center shared Playfull's video.6 d ago
Poverello Live Well Center
Playfull
You Can Do Anything!
Poverello Live Well Center
Poverello Live Well Center shared Iris's video.3 w ago
“You can do anything”
Poverello Live Well Center
Iris
She's a 91-year-old practicing physician, granddaughter of a slave, and one of the first doctors to treat women with opioid addiction. #InternationalWomensDay
To see the Instagram feed you need to add your own API Token to the Instagram Options page of our plugin.
26 m ago
Avoid produce with pesticides by cooking with the 'Clean 15' fruits and vegetables. Thank you Today Show for this segment this morning.

https://t.co/vh6fUGMPdk https://t.co/vh6fUGMPdk
22 h ago
Thank you Cecil and Isaac for the delicious lunch prepared today for us.

https://t.co/hFrSIH9D76 https://t.co/hFrSIH9D76
1 d ago
We are excited to have iHeartRadio and 939mia as sponsors of the 28th Annual Bowling to Fight Hunger to benefit Poverello. Be sure to join us September 8th at Sawgrass Lanes for our... https://t.co/wWzgO2nYRA