Food for Health
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
November 23, 2021
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that satisfies their dietary needs and food preferences.
The link between food and health is clear. Nutritious food can act as medicine, helping to prevent and manage disease. But too much food, too little food, food that is not nutritious, or food that is not culturally appropriate can have serious health consequences. NYHealth’s Healthy Food, Healthy Lives priority area works at the intersection of health and food to improve access to healthy and affordable foods, reduce food insecurity, and promote equity. To help leverage new and existing opportunities that promote promising policies and scale best practices, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), “Advancing Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives.” Through this RFP, NYHealth is supporting organizations across New York State working to improve food and nutrition quality; increase access to healthy and affordable food; and grow participation in food benefit and nutrition incentive programs. In 2021, NYHealth awarded NYC Health + Hospitals a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) will pilot Food for Health, a home-delivered fruit and vegetable prescription program for low-income families with young children. Both transportation and cost are often barriers to healthy eating. This project will test a model that addresses both of those barriers in a population whose experience with fruit and vegetable prescription programs has yet to be studied: children. Through this project, H+H will increase produce access and consumption among children and their caregivers; reduce families’ unmet social needs, including food insecurity; and improve child health. H+H will also conduct a rigorous evaluation of the project’s implementation and outcomes. If the program is successful, H+H will develop an implementation guide, share fact sheets with other hospitals and health systems, and educate policymakers to support replication and expansion.