FOODRx | Food is medicine

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. We believe that food is medicine.

Our innovative FOODRx program works at the intersection of hunger and health, ensuring that people experiencing food insecurity and living with a chronic health condition have access to the food, education, and support resources they need to thrive.

We spent seven years clinically testing different ways to integrate food security solutions and health care systems, eventually launching FOODRx to provide care providers and insurers with a simple, cost-effective way to directly connect their patients to nutritious food and education that will improve their health.

“The FOODRx box helps me to apply things I have learned from my nurse about taking care of my diabetes."

— Bertha, a FOODRx program participant

How FOODRx works to end hunger and promote good health

Food RX boxesLed by a registered dietician, FOODRx offers a variety of support services, determined by patient interest and eligibility and by their provider or insurance company’s contract with Second Harvest Heartland:

  • Individual support from patient engagement specialists including monthly touchpoints for the duration of their program,

  • Medically tailored and culturally connected monthly nutrition boxes complete with recipe cards and education 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.

In 2021, FOODRx provided support services to support a healthy diet and improved health to more than 8,800 individuals. This support came in the form of our chronic disease management program, nutrition stability boxes, referrals for assistance with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other community resources. Read how FOODRx and SNAP are increasing nutrition access.

Our FOODRx program worked to end hunger through partnerships with the following health care providers and insurance companies in 2021:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield (Project Well/NourishedRx)

  • Children’s Minnesota

  • Essentia Health

  • Lakewood Health System

  • Hennepin Healthcare

  • Medica

  • North Care Collaborative

  • North Memorial

  • UCare

  • Winona Health

Read more about how FOODRx works thanks to an article from Food Bank News.

Watch partners share how FOODRx has helped their patient population:

Community-based Wellness Partners

In addition to home delivery options, we’re able to connect FOODRx to patients throughout our service area through our vast food bank network, specifically empowering food shelves as FOODRx Wellness Partners. These community hubs provide no-cost groceries to their neighbors and serve as a FOODRx nutrition box pick-up location. This partnership helps patients complement their medically tailored nutrition box with fresh produce, dairy and protein, along with a serving of conversation and connection with every visit!

community partnersCurrent participating Wellness Partners include:

Read more about one of our wellness partners on our blog: Community Solutions: Partnering to end hunger at the local level.

Get involved with FOODRx

Are you a care provider or insurer looking to see if FOODRx could work for your patient population?

Contact our team to learn more: foodrx@2harvest.org

Are you a volunteer looking to support this important hunger and health work?

Explore our current volunteer opportunities with the FOODRx program.

Are you a patient or program participant looking for nutrition education materials and recipes?

Visit our online database of FOODRx nutrition resources, sorted by and available in English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Russian, Vietnamese.

Contact your patient engagement specialist with questions: foodrx@2harvest.org

Are you looking for information on chronic disease management?

Check out resources from the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Diabetes Association.

Are you looking for additional food help?

Visit our resources page at 2harvest.org/gethelp for a list of food help options, from a neighborhood food shelf directory to information on programs for seniors, parents and others. You can jump straight to information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and help from our SNAP Outreach team at 2harvest.org/SNAP.

 

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