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Why we do what we do

These research articles provide concrete evidence showing the effectiveness of Food is Medicine 

Building Capacity for Healthy Food Prescriptions

Collectively, this has presented the platform for the Foundation, and its partners, to play a role in elevating the value of community-based organizations in food is medicine interventions, especially as more stakeholders – both private and public – are investing in this space overall. To support this, the Foundation has recently increased programmatic investment to explore and/or build a regional food is medicine hub that centers nonprofit organizations and the local food system, as well as an increased focus on identifying or leveraging opportunities to elevate the value of community-based approaches.
Medically Tailored Meal Delivery for Diabetes Patients with Food Insecurity: a Randomized Cross-over Trial
Medically tailored meal delivery programs were tested to determine if there was an improvement in dietary qualities of individuals with type 2 diabetes and food insecurity. Adult individuals with type 2 diabetes and food insecurity participated in this study. Food was delivered to the participants from a local non-profit organization for 24 weeks. These meals were tailored to the participants specific needs. Medically tailored food boxes were shown to improve food insecurity and reduce hypoglycemia. 

The Impact of Food Insecurity Screenings and Community Food Resource Referrals for Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of integration of a social determinants of health screening and community referral process for adult patients with Type 2 Diabetes and food insecurity. All adult patients who had a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes and presented to the clinic for a routine office visit were screened for food insecurity. Patients who screened positive for food insecurity were referred to community food resources through the Community Resource Network. At the end of the 12-week study period, all food insecure patients were referred to a community food resource. Of those patients, 95% completed the follow-up questionnaire, and 97% of the respondents reported utilizing the food resources. Evidence from this study shows that a food insecurity screening and community referral program can positively impact health outcomes in those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Creating and Sustaining a Community-Academic Partnership for Improving Nutrition Status, Food Security, and Chronic Disease Outcomes in Rural Appalachia

The relationship between hunger, poverty, and health from a global level to local level was examined in this article. The socioecological model was used to present a community-academic partnership to address food insecurity and improve health in rural Appalachia. Community-academic partnerships offer a special opportunity to address food insecurity as a social determinant of health. The goal of this study is to continue to grow the community-clinical partnership, influence policy, systems and environmental change, and to overall encourage a clinical shift towards sustainable health. By connecting all these factors such as academia, non-profits, and hospitals, communities can develop sustainable approaches that may decrease chronic disease and promote health in all individuals. 

The effect of food prescription programs on chronic disease management in primarily low-income populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis

A low-income limits one’s ability to purchase foods that are high in nutritional value like fruits and vegetables. Higher fruit and vegetable  intake is associated with less diet-related chronic disease. Food pharmacy programs are potential solutions to providing nutritionally adequate foods to low-income populations with or at-risk for chronic disease. This systematic review aimed to determine the effect of food pharmacy programs, including interventions, targeting populations at-risk for chronic disease. It was found that the mean daily servings of fruits and vegetables was higher and BMI was lower with food pharmacy interventions. These findings show that food pharmacy programs delivered to primarily low-income individuals with comorbidities may be a promising solution to improving fruit and vegetable intake and possibly overall diet in these populations.

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