WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency funds offered during the pandemic ended in February.

However, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is working to help ease and give continuous support to families through a program that will provide people with fresh boxes of food for a year.  

Registered nurse Rachel Zimmer is the founder of The Fresh Food Program study to monitor patients’ health over a certain time period.

“I’m making an impact on their health in different ways,” Zimmer said. 

The two-year study will measure the impact of a food-first approach to addressing health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. 

The mobile health program is collaborating with organizations like The Produce Box to deliver fresh foods to people in the community.

“Because a lot of our patients need food, need housing, need transportation,” Zimmer said.

According to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, an average of 900,000 families in North Carolina used the additional SNAP program each month it was available.