Poor diet, exacerbated by food insecurity, is now the leading cause of death and disease in the United States. Individuals with low incomes and those dealing with food insecurity can be especially at risk for poor nutrition, due to additional factors associated with inadequate household resources as well as under-resourced communities. Food is Medicine services such as medically tailored meals, medically tailored groceries, and produce prescription programs have become increasingly powerful and cost -effective interventions to prevent and treat diet-related chronic conditions, improve household food security, and address health disparities. Although research has illustrated that these services are associated with improved health, lower health care costs, and decreased health care utilization, fragmented integration of Food is Medicine interventions into our health care system at the state and federal levels has led to inequitable access based on an individual’s geography, insurance status, health care provider, and condition.
The Center for Health law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) works to address gaps in access to Food is Medicine services by integrating them into health care delivery and financing. We advocate to establish sustainable funding streams for these services, enhance research and evaluation efforts, and improve the infrastructure that Food is Medicine services rely on such as food insecurity screening, HIPAA-compliant data sharing, and nutrition education for medical and oral health professionals.
Coalitions and Networks
CHLPI serves as a leader, member, or advisor of the most influential Food is Medicine coalitions in the country.
Our role in Food is Medicine Coalitions at the Federal Level:
- Policy Advisor for the Food is Medicine Coalition
- Member of the National Produce Prescription Collaborative
- Special Advisor for the Aspen Institute’s Food is Medicine Initiative
Our role in Food is Medicine Coalitions at State and Local Levels:
- Co-Convenor Food is Medicine Massachusetts (FIMMA)
- Steering Committee Member for the California Medically Supportive Food and Nutrition Initiative