Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) of Jefferson County



From the #deltadentalARFoundation: Clients at Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) of Jefferson County  soup kitchen and food pantry have noticed some changes of late..

Sure, they still receive a hot lunch or groceries to prepare meals at home.

But these days, they also receive take-home flyers and handouts about the link between a healthy diet and good oral and overall health. Think good-for-you recipes, nutrition advice and Do’s and Don’ts for healthy teeth.

“If people don’t eat well, if they don’t take care of their teeth, everything will suffer,” says Pat Tate, executive director.

Ever since Pat took the helm at the Pine Bluff non-profit in 2019, she has pondered the complex connections of hunger, homelessness, health and access to medical and dental care. And she’s been determined to help devise long-term strategic solutions that can untangle this web. #

#CommunityGrant funding from the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation allowed her to get started.

First, Pat conducted a survey about dental care among the 600+ individuals who visit N2N each month. She had observed that many suffered from poor oral health with missing or broken teeth, painful cavities or tender gums. .

So the survey asked questions like,

  • Do you have a dentist?
  • How long has it been since you visited a dentist?
  • What was the reason for your most recent dental visit?

The answers indicated a fear of the dentist, lack of insurance, concerns about costs and the assumption that only dental emergencies warranted a trip to the dentist.

Pat then initiated a partnership with local oral health providers to teach and promote healthy habits that lead to good oral health. Plans are underway to involve these nonprofit and government agencies to open a satellite location at N2N. 

If all goes as hoped, clients picking up lunch or pantry items will be able to get dental referrals, help making dentist appointments and, possibly--depending on funding and other developments--even dental screenings.

She’s also expanded the daily lunch choices to include more fresh meat, whole dairy and produce from local growers. A healthy diet rich in vitamins, protein and complex carbs supports oral health

We like those developments a lot and have asked Pat to tell us more. Maybe we can help with another grant

How about your organization? Find out more about our grant opportunities here.

Description of 2022 Community Grant impact, Neighbor 2 Neighbor

Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers

Neighbor to Neighbor, dining hall

Neighbor to Neighbor of Jefferson County