Texas Tech Health Sciences Center El Paso and Albertsons have partnered to further a shared mission to support their local community, especially the underserved, through a $20,000 grant to combat food insecurity. The grant will provide access, through food gifts cards, to participants in three TTUHSC El Paso programs: Promotores de Salud, the Medical Student Run Clinic, and the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center.
The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated the already serious problem of food insecurity for the hardest hit populations in our region. Feeding America estimates that, in 2021, Texas will have the highest projected number of people living in very low food secure households, with 1,827,780 people having reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns.
Albertsons’ partnership with TTUHSC El Paso will assist those who are experiencing food insecurity by offering gift cards redeemable at local Albertsons locations. Gift card distribution started in the late spring with Promotores de Salud, and will continue with other programs in the fall.
Jessica A. Chacon, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Foster School of Medicine and director of the Promotores de Salud program, began distribution of the gift cards at a COVID-19 vaccination drive in San Elizario, on May 6.
“We’re in San Elizario providing vaccinations to farm workers,” said Dr. Chacon. “With the Albertsons donation they can put healthy food on their table tonight. Our partnership is keeping families healthy and sustained.”
On June 26, families in the 79905 ZIP code, home of the TTUHSC El Paso campus, gathered to receive technology training from Microsoft. TTUHSC El Paso promotores were there to help distribute Albertsons gift cards.
“I like Promotores de Salud, because it’s a program that is helping our neighborhood, the 79905 community,” said George Lara, 79905 ZIP code resident. “I know what our community can do if we pull together, and the Albertsons gift cards are helping our residents during some of the most challenging of times.”
Albertsons gift cards will also support patients of the Medical Student Run Clinic and the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center.
The Medical Student Run Clinic was established in 2013 by a group of students from the Foster School of Medicine’s inaugural class, along with the help of faculty and staff. The clinic serves the community of Sparks in Far East El Paso, where a majority of the population is uninsured – the MSRC is often their only access to health care. Patients will receive the Albertson gift cards during open clinic hours to help supplement food shortages they may be experiencing.
The Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Breast Care Center provides comprehensive and integrated care for the diagnosis, treatment, and education of breast cancer patients of all ages, and conducts clinical research in the prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer and treatment-related side effects. The BCC’s location in the heart of El Paso, on the TTUHSC El Paso campus, allows patients to remain in the city for treatment. It’s the only comprehensive breast care treatment center in West Texas. Often the high cost of cancer treatment can mean a patient deciding between a treatment or a nutritious meal, and gift cards from Albertsons provide patients with better access to healthy food while seeking cancer treatment.
Check out our photos from the vaccination drive and Albertsons gift card giveaway: