To address the public health dimension of this problem, a "collective impact approach" uniting hospitals, health care providers, community health organizations, universities, state and local government and hunger relief organizations is needed. A key tool supporting a cross-sector approach is the mandatory "Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)" process that is a part of the “community benefit” requirements applicable to non-profit hospitals of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Section 9007).
On June 4, 2014, CMHC hosted guest speakers from THE FOOD TRUST in Philadelphia and C.A.R.E. at Yale University who described how "community food needs assessment" can be conducted and incorporated into an overall CHNA. From such an analysis, effective investments to address hunger can be made by the hospital-sector, in collaboration with other partners.