This innovative program ensures people with chronic health conditions have access to the food, education and support they need to thrive.
Healthy Food as Medicine
Custom Nutrition Boxes Support Individuals with Chronic Health Conditions
At Second Harvest Heartland, we are on a mission to end hunger in ways that result in better overall health outcomes and help lead to nutrition security for all of our neighbors.
Our innovative FOODRx program works at the intersection of hunger and health, supporting individuals with both food insecurity and chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.
Households with both food insecurity and health issues are prevalent. According to Feeding America:
- More than half of households served in their network have at least one member living with high blood pressure.
- More than one-third have a member with diabetes.
FOODRx launched after seven years of clinically testing different ways to integrate food security solutions with health care systems. Now, FOODRx gives healthcare providers and insurers a simple and cost-effective way to connect patients to nutritious food and education that will improve their health.
How FOODRx Works to End Hunger and Promote Good Health
Created with guidance from a registered dietician, FOODRx offers a variety of support services, determined by patient interest, eligibility and by their health care provider or insurance company’s contract with Second Harvest Heartland.
FOODRx options include:
- Individual support from patient engagement specialists including monthly touchpoints throughout their participation in FoodRx.
- Nutrition boxes that are medically tailored and culturally connected to each individual, complete with recipe cards and educational materials.
- HIPAA-compliant patient data analytics to track participation and outcomes.
- Access to warehousing, clinical research and evaluation, and the highly efficient food logistics operations of Second Harvest Heartland.
Supporting Positive Outcomes for 8,800 Individuals
In 2021, FOODRx provided helped 8,800 individuals with support for a healthy diet and improved health.
This support came from:
- Our chronic disease management program
- Nutrition stability boxes
- Referrals for assistance with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Other community resources
FOODRx engagements in 2021 included these healthcare providers and insurance companies:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield (Project Well/NourishedRx)
- Children’s Minnesota
- Essentia Health
- Hennepin Healthcare
- Lakewood Health System
- North Care Collaborative
- North Memorial
- Winona Health
Community-Based FOODRx Wellness Partners
In addition to home delivery options, FOODRx connects to patients in Minnesota and Wisconsin through our vast food bank network by empowering food shelves as FOODRx Wellness Partners.
These community hubs provide no-cost groceries to local neighbors and serve as FOODRx nutrition box pick-up locations.
These vital partnerships help patients complement their medically tailored nutrition boxes with fresh produce, dairy and protein, along with a serving of conversation and connection with every visit.
Get Involved with FOODRx
Ready to volunteer your time or talents to support our important hunger and health work? Explore our current volunteer opportunities with the FOODRx program.
Do you need food? Our network of local food shelves and other hunger relief partners can help. See a list of food options and resources including a neighborhood food shelf directory and programs for seniors, parents and others. Find information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and help from our SNAP Outreach team.