Community impact grant to combat food insecurity, starting in the clinic

The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama will receive the fourth annual Community Impact Grant awarded by UAB employees through the UAB Benevolent Fund. This nonprofit organization provides millions of meals per year to central Alabamians struggling with hunger or food insecurity.

This $25,000 award will help fund Food Link, the food bank’s partnership with the UAB School of Nursing, which fosters access to healthy foods for first-time mothers and uninsured patients with diabetes or heart failure to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital encounters.

The grant award officially will be presented during the UAB Men’s Basketball game 7 p.m. March 1 in Bartow Arena.

“UAB already plays such a big part in the Birmingham community, and extending our partnership with the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama will only further that relationship,” said Lisa Higginbotham, Benevolent Fund manager. “As the largest employer in the city, UAB has the responsibility to take a leadership role in making sure its citizens are cared for, and the Community Food Bank has a proven record of doing that for more than three decades.”

The Community Food Bank plans to introduce a new food insecurity-screening tool to the staff of the UAB PATH Clinic, UAB Medicine Advanced Heart Failure Program and Nurse Family Partnership program. The tool is proven valid in medical settings, and patients who screen positive for food insecurity will receive fresh produce, healthy dry good and referrals to benefit programs and food pantries in their own community. The goal is to help them better meet clinical recommendations for treating diet-related diseases and ensure first-time mothers have the nutritional foundation that will enable their infants to thrive.

“We are thrilled to partner with UAB to identify and serve patients at risk for hunger on-site within the clinics,” said Kathryn Strickland, executive director of the Community Food Bank. “We are so appreciative of the UAB community’s generosity and their commitment to innovative patient care, and we hope, through this partnership, we will be able to fulfill both our missions.”

UAB employees cast their votes to select the winner Jan. 26-Feb. 2 after viewing video presentations from the three finalists.

The Community Impact Grant is an initiative designed to make a real and measurable difference for a challenging community issue. The grant is awarded to one nonprofit or a coalition of nonprofits submitting a proposal that will result in direct impact in education, health and/or economic security and have a lasting impact in the Birmingham community. Magic City Harvest was the inaugural winner. The Birmingham Public Library’s “Teens Engineer Birmingham” program and Hand in Paw were winners in subsequent years.

Learn more about the grant at