Health is a central tenant of a great quality of life. Good health keeps kids in school, keeps adults employed, which helps keep households stable. By investing in the health of 4,500 more residents in Story County, we can chip away at the inequities that keep people from succeeding. Health services can range from in-home hospice to mental health, substance abuse counseling to healthy food.
COMMUNITY IMPACT GOAL:
Improve community health by serving 4,500 more people.
- 16% of Story County residents are food insecure, representing 14,730 individuals (County Health Rankings, CHR)
- 10% of Story County residents have limited access to healthy food, representing 8,707 individuals (CHR)
- 26.5% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch (Iowa Department of Education)
- 11% of Story County adults reported 14 or more days of poor mental health per month (CHR)
- 12.5% of all youth deaths in Story County were by suicide in 2017 (Iowa Department of Public Health)
*Data from 2019 or most recent year available. While these indicators are not the only ways to assess health in our community, these are data points that illustrate that there is a need in our goal area.
Healthy food / We will increase access to healthy food and nutrition programming.
Mental health services / We will provide awareness programming and therapeutic services.
Social connectedness / We will increase community inclusion and provide social/emotional support.
- 735 individuals served participated in healthy food access/nutrition programs.
- 11,582 individuals participated in mental health awareness programming (including domestic abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse).
- 2,824 Story County clients were provided with mental health services through UWSC partner agency programs and services, including evaluations, medication management, counseling, or other therapeutic services.
- 78.2% of those surveyed reported improved quality of life, for a total of 356 individuals.
Baseline from FY 2018-19. These performances measures are part of a comprehensive strategy map. They show a range of work, and are reported on by a number of different funded programs. To view our full strategy map and community impact plan, visit www.uwstory.org/impact.
Our work in Health
LIVE UNITED Food Drive
Hunger is real. The statistics are scary and steady. More than one in four children in Story County continues to be eligible to receive free/reduced lunch.
Once summer break starts, these children won't have access to school-provided meals. Therefore, the need for food at local food pantries is even greater during the summer months.
Due to COVID-19, our annual Food Drive has gone HYBRID. For more information, visit the Food Drive website.
Supplemental Food Programs
Story County’s Free and Reduced Lunch rates have increased in recent history; county-wide, it translates to one in four students. What does that mean when those kids aren’t receiving food at school? To feed at-risk students over the weekend, United Way of Story County started the BackPack Program™. This program sends a backpack full of food home with a student over the weekend and extended school breaks. This program has been expanded after the benefits were reported by teachers and is now operated in three Ames elementary schools, Ballard and Nevada. More than 100 kids participate each week.
UWSC is doing even more to help meet the summer demand by coming together with other community organizations to run summer food programs through Summer Learning programs in Ames, Nevada, Ballard, and Collins-Maxwell.
SingleCare (formerly FamilyWize) Prescription Cards
UWSC has partnered with SingleCare (FamilyWize) to bring a free prescription discount card to Story County. The card is really just like a reusable prescription coupon on all FDA approved medicines. Anyone can use it. You can even use it if you have health insurance, both during deductible periods and for anything your insurance doesn't cover. Simply stop by our office (315 Clark Ave. in Ames) and pick one up or download a printable card online!