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Open Hand Atlanta Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Congregate Meals, Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Food, Meals on Wheels, Nutrition

Mission: The mission is to help people prevent or better manage chronic disease through comprehensive nutrition care which combines home-delivered meals and nutrition education as a means to reinforce the connection between informed food choices and improved quality of life.

Programs: Open hand community nutrition programs include: a. In 2016, open hand provided 1,066,504 home-delivered meals and market basket meal bags to approximately 3034 clients per our county contracts. Our service area for these senior meal contracts includes fulton, fayette, clayton, cherokee, oglethorpe, and clarke counties, in addition to sustaining our programs to serve children and youth meals and nutrition programming. B. The prepared meals portion of the program provides for one, two or three freshly cooked therapeutic meals, combined with healthy snacks or supplements, to meet the daily nutrition needs of low-income men, women and children who are dealing with a critical, chronic, or terminal disease. Other qualifying individuals may include dependent children of any open hand client, regardless of their health status. Nutrition education is delivered on a regular basis with the meals, as well as in group and clinical settings. Menus are developed and products are selected by open hand's registered dietitians, and include therapeutic and preferential menu options. C. Open hand's market basket pantry program provides a weekly supply of both nonperishable groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables to low-income, medically-eligible clients who are empowered to prepare their own healthy meals with nutrition guidance provided by open hand registered dietitians. This accommodates a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables including more locally grown produce. D. In addition, open hand provided approximately 11,565 emergency nutrition supplements (ens), in the form of meal replacement snacks and nutrition supplements, to low-income, medically-eligible men, women and children, often during extended waits for their health care appointments. Patients who have had dental procedures may also receive mechanical soft meals provided through this program. E. Central to open hand's mission of comprehensive nutrition care, every client is assessed at intake and offered consistent nutrition education by open hand registered dietitians (rds), which includes printed nutrition education materials and, depending upon their assessment, individual or group nutrition coaching sessions. These group sessions have a community or public health focus, and include topics such as portion control, healthy eating, hands-on food preparation, physical activity, and disease self- management. Client counseling sessions include individualized nutrition assessment, diagnosis, education, and goal-setting. Follow-up reinforcement is provided by open hand rds, and may include monitoring of client health metrics, nutrition education, assessment of health goal progressions, referral(s) to additional support services, and/or phone consultations. F. Open hand provided medical nutritional therapy (mnt) to 781 clients in 2016. Mnt is prescribed by a clinician, targets a specific medical condition, and includes a nutrition diagnosis, therapy and counseling services - all performed by open hand registered dietitians (rds). Designed by the american academy of nutrition and dietetics, mnt includes a specific plan of assessment, nutrition diagnoses, intervention, evaluation/monitoring, documentation, and communication with client's health care provider. This service is available to men, women and children who have a nutrition-sensitive chronic disease and who are committed to improving their health through better food choices and behavior modification. G. As the state of georgia's lead partner for the nationally acclaimed cooking matters program - a six-week program utilizing an evidence-based curriculum originally designed by share our strength, open hand cooking matters teaches participants how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget - offering practical, hands-on instruction such as nutrition, meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting that empowers participants to make the most of their limited resources. Cooking matters helps open hand address the co-occurring issues of food insecurity, obesity, and related nutrition-sensitive disease, which are often more common among at-risk, disadvantaged populations.

good measure meals (gmm) is open hand's fee-for-service social enterprise, which offers nutritious, gourmet-quality meal plans to people who wish to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension or obesity, and people looking to improve or maintain a healthy lifestyle through better nutrition. This program extends open hand's mission of comprehensive nutrition care across the full socio-economic spectrum, making an even greater impact on our community. Approximately 529 average clients/week received 344,811 healthy meals in 2016 through this program. Nutrition services and wellness programming continue to provide nutrition education to customers and corporate partners, providing 221 individual or group nutrition assessments/counseling on a fee-for-service basis at open hand, with an additional 209 nutrition phone consults with a gmm registered dietitian. Gmm expansion in the corporate community produced an additional 242 nutrition services to individuals and 37 group programs through our collaboration with corporate sports unlimited and a total of 153 wellness programs, including lunch and learns, cooking demos, and wellness challenges were implemented for our corporate and community partners. Good measure meals continued growing the catering extension of the social enterprise, which in 2016 secured multiple preferred catering vendor contracts for the academic and corporate communities, expanding the catering menu significantly and served over 316 breakfast, lunches, and dinners, with an additional 722 healthy bread trays to over 11,958 community customers.

open hand's senior nutrition program provides one or two freshly cooked health-promoting meals, combined with snacks or supplements, to meet the daily nutrition needs of homebound senior clients and seniors in congregate settings. In 2016, open hand prepared and delivered approximately 540,874 meals to an average of 2159 senior clients each day in senior centers. Additionally, open hand provided nutrition education and wellness coaching to approximately 1,300 seniors in group sessions conducted in senior centers and senior high-rise communities throughout metro-atlanta.

in 2016, open hand extended the reach of comprehensive nutrition caretm by achieving several key goals: a. Through our comprehensive community nutrition services, open hand and good measure meals served a combined total of approximately 19,086 clients in 2016. This includes more than 1,607,228 home-delivered meals, meals provided in a congregate setting, as well as meal supplements. In 2016, our registered dietitians worked directly with 7009 clients, providing extensive nutrition education ranging from the instruction on the nutritional value of the foods in their diet to calorie balance and diabetes management, conducting home nutrition assessments, and providing in-clinic medical nutrition therapy (mnt). B. The following programmatic milestones were achieved in 2016: 1. Prepared meals program - achieving high quality and client satisfaction is always a primary focus for open hand. In 2016, we continued to make progress in the quality of our meals and these improvements were reflected in our annual satisfaction survey results, 96% of clients rated the quality of meals as excellent or good; 93% of clients rate the variety of meals as excellent or good - up from 83% in 2015. In 2016 our client survey focused on measuring the impact of our services. In 2016, 14% of survey respondents self-identified as persons living with hiv/aids, 47% were seniors served in senior centers, and 40% persons living with other chronic illnesses/disabilities. Of the clients that had a chronic condition, 96% of our clients reported that their medication had stayed the same in the last six months. 2. Over the past year, we had an increase in utilization of our services. Nutrition education classes have seen a significant increase, as 76% of clients attended an average of at least 5 nutrition classes in a year. Of the clients that attended the classes, 65% of them indicated that they are currently utilizing the educational handouts supplied by open hand registered dietitians, and following nutrition guidelines related to food preparation, recipe adjustment, knowledge building, and shopping for healthy foods on a very limited budget. Prior to attending these classes, only 35% of the respondents indicated that they followed nutrition guidelines. 3. Market basket program - administered by open hand registered dietitians (rds), the market basket program is an innovative solution to reduce food insecurity, increase intake of healthy foods, and increase nutrition knowledge in high-risk adults in the atlanta area. Open hand volunteers deliver program participants weekly market baskets which include fresh fruit and seasonal vegetables, along with nutrition education materials and recipes relevant to the contents of that week's basket to encourage consumption. Open hand provided 6,190 market baskets to an average of 119 clients each week in 2016. 4. Promoting nutrition and healthy living among low income individuals and families - open hand's cooking matters program had three overarching goals in fiscal year 2016: to maintain programmatic work in metro atlanta, establish two new cooking matters satellites in camden and appling counties (public health districts 9-1 and 9-2), and develop relationships with wic clinics to provide nutrition education. In 2016, our combined programmatic goals for metro atlanta and south/coastal georgia: support a total of 24 cooking matters courses, 36 store tours, and 36 demonstrations. Additionally, host 36 store tours and 36 demonstrations at wic clinics. We successfully established satellite regions in south/coastal ga where we implemented 5 cooking matters courses, 2 store tours, and 15 demos; in metro atlanta, we delivered 21 courses, 18 store tours, 50 demos. At wic clinics, we completed 169 demos and 37 store tours. Overall, we enrolled 2,224 participants in our cooking matters trainings. 5. Youth and families nutrition & meals - as part of an increased focus on outreach to youth and families, open hand developed the healthy balance kids menu which provides a fresh fruit or vegetable as part of every meal and exceeds usda nutritional standards. In 2016, the program served 75,713 healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks to an average of 950 at-risk children each day during a summer program in the atlanta-metro area. Additionally, open hand's registered dietitians provided nutrition classes for the summer program with an interactive curriculum focused on healthy snacks and drinks. The lessons included a cooking demo, taste testing, and nutrition activity. Participating sites also received cooking equipment to further encourage sites to offer healthy snack and drink choices. 6. Fruit and vegetable prescription program - in 2015-16, open hand - in partnership with wholesome wave georgia - piloted a fruit and vegetable prescription program. The program is an evidenced-based model of preventative health care with demonstrated impact, resulting in healthier communities, food systems, and local economics. Program outcomes for 2015- 2016 include 140 participants reached, 404 household members impacted, 31,626 prescription dollars redeemed, 21% increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, over 60% of clients saw an average decrease of >5% in bmi. Additionally, with funding from the community foundation for greater atlanta, open hand atlanta, wholesome wave georgia, and grady health system developed a 5-year business plan for growth. By 2021, growth is targeted to reach a cumulative 1,037 participants and 2,795 household members within the grady health system alone c. Operations and technology 1. In 2016, open hand implemented a 3 day per week delivery schedule. Previously, meals had been delivered on any every-other-day model which resulted in a lower level of efficiency and higher level of frustration from our clients, many of whom had a difficult time remembering their delivery days, which changed week to week, and they were often not home for their deliveries on sunday due to church. This new delivery schedule allowed us to close operations on sunday. 2. Open hand's food services department continued to refine processes related to cbord, our recently implemented foodservice management system. Substantial progress was made in better managing inventory and achieving perpetual inventory to reduce inventory on hand. 3. With the pro bono work of turner broadcasting, we developed detailed volunteer training videos which have helped us decrease the amount of over-portioning of food on the packing line. The training videos taught and encouraged volunteers to adhere to portion sizes which resulted in the reduction of remakes due to over-portioning. 4. In 2016, we launched our unified meal ordering technology project with techbridge, inc. This technology investment aims to consolidate ordering systems and streamline ordering and production reports. During this time, business and technical requirements for the 1. 1 million project were developed. The project will address unreliable order numbers and differing order numbers between production, packing and delivery reports. 5. Through a campaign to increase the number of meal delivery routes handled by volunteers, we were able to double the impact of volunteers during the week resulting in a cost savings of approximately 6,000 in 2016. 6. To meet client/customer demand, food services increased the number of menu offerings for our catering line to include special projects for armour yards and uber eats. In addition, we expanded shelf stable product line and integrated shelf stable products into normal deliveries.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Open Hand Atlanta many times. The staff is extremely friendly, effecient and very organized. They have an electronic check in proceedure which makes getting started very quick, easy and efficient. The staff keeps the volunteer groups busy and engaged and always having fun while we work. They also take the opportunity to educate us on the great work Open Hand does and how we can help out in other ways.