Wednesday’s Warrior: Quinnipiac medical student’s grocery program helps people with diabetes fight food insecurity

Wednesday's Warrior

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — What started as a project, now serves a purpose.

Meet our warrior, Jan Arangan, a second-year medical student at the Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.

“To really do something for the local New Haven community,” said Arangan. “The need is greater.”

She created a grocery voucher program for patients at the Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven, who are living with Type 2 diabetes and struggling with food insecurity.

“So from that pool of patients, we call them, we invite them to participate in this program and if they’re interested then over the course of three months they’re going to receive a $25 grocery voucher to C-Town supermarkets,” said Arangan.

On top of that, a diabetic nurse is available to help guide patients on how to best manage diet with diabetic medications.

Arangan says this program is timely given the many uncertainties brought on by Covid-19.

“Because patients need to choose if they’re going to pay for their medications this month, for food, for rent,” she said.

Dr. Mellisa Pensa, a physician at the Fair Haven clinic, joined forces with Arangan to help get this program up and running.

Together, they share a goal.

“We hope to see that there is some improvement in self-efficiency around nutrition and diabetes self-care and management. We hope to see some improvement in food insecurity and possibly some improvement in diabetic outcomes,” said Dr. Pensa.

The main purpose, according to Arangan, is “to support patients.”

If you are eligible for assistance or looking to donate to the clinic, visit their website,, or call 203-777-7411.

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