Food as Medicine
This initiative intends to improve the health outcomes of our clients with food-related health challenges.
Of the approximately 250,000 clients served annually by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and our more than 940 partner programs in six counties, one third live with a family member living with diabetes and two thirds live in a household with a family member struggling with hypertension. This program is a collaborative project that involves health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Through a combination of healthy produce distributions, targeted clinical care, nutrition education, and other community resources, the Food as Medicine program eliminates some of the key barriers to improved health and well being, such as a lack of access to healthy food.
CORE COMPONENTS AND PARTNERSHIPS
- Food Prescriptions – The Produce Rx partnership begins with patient intake and screening at a hospital or health care facility. If clients screen positive for hunger, they can be referred to the Greater Cleveland Help Center, where SNAP applications can be completed over the phone and clients can be referred to free food resources in their neighborhoods or other services.
- Fresh Produce Distributions – The Greater Cleveland Food Bank delivers a truckload of fresh produce for distribution by healthcare centers on a regular basis in areas of high need.
- Food Pharmacy - Healthy foods, including produce, can be procured through the Food Bank to keep on-site at your location. A designated “market” or “pantry” housed within your center can provide nutritious food to patients on site.
- Healthy Living Boxes- These boxes are developed with specific food items specifically selected to meet the needs of clients living with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Healthcare professionals distribute them in prescription form.
- Prepared Meals – The Greater Cleveland Food Bank has an onsite catering kitchen that prepares up to 10,000 meals a day for low income clients, including home delivered meals for senior citizens. These meals, including meals tailored to seniors, children, or patient’s specific needs, are available for pick up by a partner or delivery.
- Nutrition Education – The Greater Cleveland Food Bank provides cooking demonstrations, nutrition education and activities for low-income clients through partners throughout the community. This could be offered to patients in coordination with any Food as Medicine Program.