Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Making Food Prescriptions Easier to Manage for People with Chronic Illness

Grant Amount

$50,000

Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

April 1, 2024

Region

NYC

Status

In Progress

Website

https://www.smartuniversity.org/

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, stark disparities persist by race and ethnicity, and communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease. The communities most affected by these disparities often have the best solutions to improving food equity. However, systemic barriers often exist, and historically, organizations led by people of color have not had equal access to or benefited from traditional philanthropy funds and resources. In 2024, NYHealth issued an inaugural Request for Proposals (RFP), “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives: Supporting a More Equitable Food System,” to advance racial health equity in the food system. NYHealth awarded SMART Food for Life a grant to participate in this initiative.

Under this grant, SMART will launch SMART Food for Life, a pilot project that will connect a cohort of clients with chronic health conditions, including HIV, diabetes, and heart disease, to nutritional counseling; a medically-tailored food plan; and the delivery of prescribed food. Through its partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital’s Medicine Residency Program, SMART will link each cohort participant to a partnered physician who will provide an individualized food prescription. It will also use its partnerships with food vendors including Shop Healthy supermarkets, GrowNYC, and local farmers markets to help fill food prescriptions. SMART aims to develop a replicable model that can be shared with other nonprofits and health clinics.

See a full list of grantees working to advance racial health equity in the food system.