Supporting Young Children’s Health from the Start: Food as Medicine Programs for Pregnant People
Nutrition security is critical for the prevention of diet-related diseases. The food as medicine movement, which includes nutrition incentive (NI), medically tailored meals, and produce prescription (PP) projects, is spreading rapidly. Health professionals are increasingly recognizing the role of healthy food in treatment and prevention. However, food as medicine programs that address the unique needs of pregnant people have largely gone unstudied.
No Kid Hungry’s Early Childhood team seeks to identify and support the earliest interventions for food insecurity in young children. Prenatal care is an important, early opportunity to intervene (Sandoval et al., 20211). Food insecurity decreases a pregnant woman’s ability to access nutritious food essential for a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal household food insecurity has been linked to future adverse pediatric outcomes. In response to the recent growth in the food as medicine movement, No Kid Hungry partnered with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition to conduct a landscape analysis of food as medicine interventions that target pregnant people. The landscape analysis included a systematic review and interviews with 36 program implementers and their support systems.
No Kid Hungry created this directory to serve as a centralized location for information on food as medicine programs for pregnant people. The directory includes each organization’s contact email, website, state, program type, and description.
No Kid Hungry continues to explore strategies in the field of produce prescription for pregnant people and meet with experts in the field. Program information will be updated regularly to inform further research and spark collective learning.
"It’s about that child getting the best start in life as possible. It also creates this culture, if the mom is eating good, then most likely the rest of the family is going to eat well." - Program Implementer
See our directory below for a list of Food as Medicine programs for pregnant people nationwide.
Please contact Bethann Mwombela at email@example.com for any requested updates or additions to the directory.
|Organization||Contact via||State||Rurality||Program Type||Description|
|Augusta Health||Website Email||Virginia||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Free groceries are available in the waiting area for all in need, including pregnant persons.|
|Blue Ridge Free Clinic||Website Email||Virginia||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Free groceries (dairy, meat, produce, and shelf stabe items) are available in the waiting area for all in need, including pregnant persons.|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, Obesity||Website||Georgia||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||CDC is funding programs that focus on reducing health disparities in communities through collaboration with clinical programs.|
|Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation-Harvard Law School||WebsiteEmail||Massachusetts||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Works to address gaps in access to Food is Medicine services by integrating them into health care delivery and financing. CHLPI advocates to establish sustainable funding streams, 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.|
|Centura Health*||WebsiteEmail||Colorado||Urban||Produce Prescription||Centura St. Mary-Corwin Hospital providers can give food vouchers that are redeemable at area grocery stores and farmers markets to eligible patients.|
|Ceres Community Project||WebsiteEmail||California||Urban & Rural||Medically tailored meals, Produce Prescription||Pregnant persons who receive Medicaid identified at healthcare appointment for eligibility to receive a combination of medically tailored meals and produce bags through five weeks post-partum|
|CommuniCare Health Centers*||WebsiteEmail||California||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription, Education Materials||Pregnant persons who receive Medicaid identified at healthcare appointment for eligibility to receive a combination of medically tailored meals and produce bags through five weeks post-partum|
|Community Farm Alliance||WebsiteEmail||Kentucky||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription||Pregnant persons who receive Medicaid receive redeemable farmer's market vouchers at healthcare appointments or from a referring community partner. Program implemented at 9 farmer's markets and 2 CSA programs.|
|Culinary Medicine Specialst Board (CMSB)||WebsiteEmail||Washington, DC||Urban & Rural||Education Materials||The CMSB manages the Health meets Food curriculum to change the dialogue between healthcare professionals and expectant parents about food and health.|
|Fang Fang Zhang-Tufts University & Tufts Medical Center||Massachusetts||Urban||Produce Prescription||Pregnancy is a critical period during which nutrition plays an important role for maternal and birth outcomes. We are assessing factors for effective design and delivery of produce Rx for pregnant women through qualitative interviews and evaluating the feasibility of implementing produce Rx in prenatal clinics for improving maternal and child outcomes among a pilot intervention of 20 pregnant women who receive up to 16 weeks of produce Rx.|
|Feeding Change Food is Medicine Taskforce||WebsiteEmail||Washington, DC||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Food Is Medicine interventions include produce prescriptions, medically tailored groceries & meals, and nutrition incentives.
The Food Is Medicine Task Force leverages research and thought leadership to catalyze systems change, embed FIM interventions into policy and financing, and promote nutritional security.
|God's Love We Deliver||WebsiteEmail||New York||Urban||Medically Tailored Meals, Education Materials||
Healthy Starts - Free, delicious, nutritious meals for pregnant people with Gestational Diabetes
|Healthy Families Produce RX (HFPRx)*||WebsiteEmail||Louisiana||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription||Pilot studies with medically tailored meals and produce prescription for individuals with chronic health conditions to build evidence for food as medicine programming|
|Kaiser Permanente||WebsiteEmail||Washington, DC||Urban & Rural||Medically Tailored Meals, Produce Prescription||Pilot studies with medically tailored meals and produce prescription for individuals with chronic health conditions to build evidence for food as medicine programming|
|Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance-MANNA||WebsiteEmail||Pennsylvania||Urban||Medically Tailored Meals||Serve people with high risk pregnancies or complications such as gestational diabetes where medically tailored meals could improve outcomes.|
|Mom's Meals||WebsiteEmail||Delivers Nationwide||Urban & Rural||Medically Tailored Meals||Mom’s Meals provides nutritious, refrigerated, ready-to-heat-and-eat meals that can be chosen based on taste preferences and unique health situations. Our meals are specially crafted to deliver great taste, convenience, affordable pricing and quality nutrition. We are a family-based business that treats clients like we do our own loved ones, and we’ve been delivering to homes nationwide for over 20 years.|
|Nourished Rx||WebsiteEmail||Connecticut||Urban & Rural||Comprehensive Pregnancy Nutrition Program, Food is Medicine - General||NourishedRx supports health plans and other partners in improving the health of their pregnant members through food and nutrition. Our mission is to nourish the most vulnerable, to build connections, and to support health equity. We make this possible by combining the power of food, people, and technology to deliver comprehensive and personalized nutrition programs and experiences to improve health experiences and outcomes and drive lasting dietary change.|
|Nourishing Beginnings||WebsiteEmail||Ohio||Urban||Food is Medicine - General||Connects pregnant people and their families to fresh foods. Participants are randomly assigned to one of two study groups: 1) receive boxed food items, or 2) money for food.|
|Need More Acres Farm||WebsiteEmail||Kentucky||Urban & Rural||Medically Tailored Meals, Produce Prescription||Grows food year-round and partners with health clinics to provide medically tailored meals, groceries, and produce to pregnant people.|
|NYC Health + Hospitals||WebsiteEmail||New York||Urban||Produce Prescription||Pilot study of a 12-week F&V home delivery program for pregnant and postpartum women at a public hospital in NYC|
|Presbyterian Healthcare Services*||WebsiteEmail||New Mexico||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription, Education Materials||Provides families with 16 weeks of fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition education.|
|Produce Perks Midwest, Inc||WebsiteEmail||California||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription||During patient appointments healthcare providers determine mode of produce delivery (vouchers for farmer's markets or grocery stores or delivered to home) for pregnant or postpartum and food insecure persons, including up to 5 members of the household. Program in 8 locations across the state of OH.|
|Project Angel Food||WebsiteEmail||California||Urban & Rural||Medically Tailored Meals||Provide medically tailored meals to those who are part of Medicaid managed care plans with Gestational diabetes or other high-risk perinatal conditions|
|Tanner Health System*||WebsiteEmail||Georgia and Alabama||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription, Education Materials||Provide medically tailored meals to those who are part of Medicaid managed care plans with Gestational diabetes or other high-risk perinatal conditions|
|Umoja Supply Chain Solutions||WebsiteEmail||Texas||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Umoja Supply Chain Solutions solutions tailored to meet the needs of food banks or hunger-relief organizations. They have done work with Food as Medicine with people who are pregnant and food insecure, but their main focus is on being a food and logistics business with a social mission. They have global sourcing capacities to ensure they always have the products someone would need. Examples include having meal kits, containing shelf-stable foods and are distribution-ready to deliver for easy disbursement by your team. They have a wide variety of menus and a great selection of products, and the ability to customize boxes as well.|
|University of Michigan - Special Delivery||WebsiteEmail||Michigan||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Special Delivery is a NIH funded clinical research trial that aims to evaluate the impact of home-delivery of healthy foods on weight gain and diet during pregnancy and associated pregnancy outcomes. Young pregnant moms who enroll are randomly assigned to one of three groups and will either receive a 1-year grocery delivery membership after they have their baby or receive groceries delivered to their homes during their pregnancy.|
|Vitamix Foundation||WebsiteEmail||Ohio||Urban & Rural||Food is Medicine - General||Funds food is medicine programs before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and the first 2000 days.|
|Vouchers for Veggies||WebsiteEmail||California||Urban & Rural||Produce Prescription||Vouchers 4 Veggies is an evidence-based produce prescription program that improves health and increases food security. V4V sees the same successful outcomes in its rural and urban replications through partnerships with non-profits, healthcare, and government. V4V partners with clinics (WIC, departments of public health, and community-based organizations) to enroll pregnant people to receive vouchers redeemable for fruits and vegetables.|
|Wholesome Wave||WebsiteEmail||Connecticut||Urban||Produce Prescription||Patient-directed choice of vouchers to redeem at farmer's markets or grocery stores for Latina pregnant persons.|
* Denotes contacts/partners from Cooking Matters and the Health Systems team who have a Food as Medicine program
1 Sandoval, V. S., Jackson, A., Saleeby, E., Smith, L., & Schickedanz, A. (2021). Associations between prenatal food insecurity and prematurity, pediatric health care utilization, and postnatal social needs. Academic pediatrics, 21(3), 455–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2020.11.020