Dentist working to tackle food insecurity in Johnston County through new practice

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — It is an issue close to Dr. Tanya Rajdev’s heart.

“I come from India. Food insecurity is an afterthought there. Growing up my mom, she would take me on my birthday or any milestone, we used to go out and feed people who were not able to afford food,” she said.

As a dentist, she said the connection between quality food and oral health goes hand in hand.

“When I became a dentist, I saw a lot of patients of mine having more oral health issues. These are patients that did not have access to good food,” said Rajdev.

In a few weeks, Rajdev will open her new practice, Allay Dental Group in Clayton.

One of her goals is to tackle food insecurity. She is planning to partner with Harvesting Hope to provide fresh, nutritious food at no cost.

“Looking at the long run, if you are able to get good food, you take care of your health better and then you need less treatments,” Rajdev said.

The plan is that for every new patient Allay Dental Group will donate to Harvesting Hope. Essentially, providing one meal to someone experiencing food insecurity in Johnston County.

According to Harvesting Hope, nearly 23,000 people are food insecure in Johnston County. More than 9,000 of those are children.

“Gas prices are going so high. So, for people to go and get food and grocery shop, everything is increasing. So, what are we as a community doing to help each other?” said Rajdev.

Allay Dental Group plans to open its doors on June 21.

They also partnering with Meals on Wheels of Johnston County so they can reach more people in need.

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