Massachusetts Medical Society: Screening Tools for Food Insecurity and Social Determinants

Screening Tools for Food Insecurity and Social Determinants

To learn more about how to easily screen for food insecurity in your clinical setting, visit the website of Children’s HealthWatch based out of Boston Medical Center:

One example of a food insecurity screening tool is the Hunger Vital SignTM, validated by a team of researchers. Click on the following link to read about this screening tool:

If you are interested in research being done around the nation on food insecurity, UCSF SIREN (Social Interventions Research & Evaluation Network) is compiling tools and resources related to social determinants of health. They have links to many types of screening tools for food insecurity and for other social determinants of health.

Please visit:

Food Pantries & Meal Programs:

There are 3 Food Banks affiliated with Feeding America in the state of Massachusetts. Visit their websites to connect to local resources such as food pantries and meal programs. Enter a zip code in their search engine to find the most convenient hunger-relief agency in your community. Some Food Banks also offer help to families in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Greater Boston Food Bank:

Worcester County Food Bank:

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts:

Technology & Services That Connect People to Resources:

HelpSteps: Visit or download their free App to find convenient hunger-relief agencies as well as other needed resources in your community.

Mass 211: Call 2-1-1 to speak to a provider that can help connect you to needed services in your area.

Project Bread: Call their Food Source Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 or visit their webpage:

Food Is Medicine:

Food is Medicine refers to a spectrum of services and health interventions that recognize and respond to the critical link between nutrition and chronic diseases. Food is Medicine interventions consist of healthy foods that are tailored to meet the specific needs of individuals living with or at risk for serious health conditions affected by diet.

The Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan is the result of a two-year statewide initiative that explored the need for and access to nutrition interventions in the Commonwealth. The Plan provides a blueprint to building a health care system that truly recognizes the critical relationship between food and health and ensures access to the nutrition services our state residents need to prevent, manage, and treat diet-related illness.

The Food is Medicine Inventory is a tool for health care providers to refer patients to medically tailored meals and other essential nutrition services in the state.

Share on Facebook

Find a Physician  

Three DoctorsSearch for Massachusetts Medical Society physicians by specialty or locality.

Find a Physician »

Facebook logoX logoLinkedInYouTube logoInstagram

Copyright © 2023. Massachusetts Medical Society, 860 Winter Street, Waltham Woods Corporate Center, Waltham, MA 02451-1411

(781) 893-4610 | (781) 893-3800 | Member Information Hotline: (800) 322-2303 x7311