City of Independence, Missouri

Independence hopes to combat food, health disparities through new grocery delivery program

This month, the City of Independence Health and Animal Services Department is launching a new program to address health disparities utilizing free subscriptions for grocery deliveries for high-risk and underserved populations in Independence.

“Providing both high-risk and underserved populations in Independence with a subscription for grocery delivery service could reduce their risk of outside exposures and increase access to healthful foods,” Independence Health and Animal Services Director Christina Heinen said. “We are hopeful that by helping families with this one burden, they can better isolate when ill, eat healthier, seek out help when needed, and connect with resources in our community more effectively.”

With the help of a grant from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Independence Health Department has partnered with Hy-Vee to distribute free Hy-Vee+ subscriptions to the citizens of Independence, so they can have free grocery delivery.

Additionally, with the help of grant funding, the Independence Health Department is working with the Community Services League, Hope House, Salvation Army, Northwest Communities Development Corporation, and Community of Christ Stone Church to help distribute applications for the program and provide internet access to people so they can utilize their Hy-Vee+ account. Applications can be filled out at one of these locations or Independence City Hall. Grant funds are helping provide computers for area partners working in areas of our community that may not have computer access.

For more information about the Health Disparities Initiative, please call the Independence Health and Animal Services Department at (816) 325-7986.

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Grant information:

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) received Grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nation Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities. DHSS seeks to partner with Local Public Health Agencies (LPHAs) from across Missouri to implement strategies that advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19 health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved.

According to the 2010-2019 U.S. Census, 20.4% of Independence, Missouri’s population is non-white, 15.1% is living in poverty, 11.3% are under the age of 65 with a disability, and 12.4% do not have computer access. The purpose of the Independence Health Department’s Project to Address Healthful Food Disparities is to reduce health disparities and decrease cases of COVID-19 in Independence, Missouri residents.