The Food is Medicine Coalition engages in research to prove that food truly is medicine, especially for those who have serious and chronic illnesses. 

Completed FIMC Agency Research


Community Servings, Boston, MA–Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -Evidence For Action

The project, "Evaluating the Food is Medicine Approach on Health," will evaluate the impact of Community Servings' medically tailored meals program on healthcare expenditures, inpatient hospitalizations, and emergency room visits in severely ill and nutritionally vulnerable adults. A description of the project, including outcomes and methodology, is now available on Evidence for Action's website.


Small Intervention, Big Impact: Health Care Cost Reductions Related to Medically Tailored Nutrition

Utilizing medical claims data from the Colorado All Payers Claim Database, Project Angel Heart examined the cost patterns of medically tailored meal recipients, and compared costs to a control group. Emergency room utilization and all-cause 30 day readmissions were also analyzed. Results were segmented by line of business (total, inpatient, outpatient, professional, pharmacy), payer and disease. The study found that the rate of all-cause 30-day readmissions was reduced by 13% when individuals received meals, and per person per month total medical costs for individuals living with congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes were significantly reduced by an average of 24%. To review the full-scope of the study findings, visit


Health Insurance Data Claims Study- Community Servings, Massachusetts General Hospital and Commonwealth Care Alliance

Researchers found that Community Servings clients had fewer inpatient admissions – resulting in a 16% net reduction in healthcare costs. In dollar terms, the average monthly medical costs for medically tailored meals participants was $843, compared to $1,413 for the control group, reflecting gross savings of $570 per month, or net savings (factoring in the cost of the meals) of $220 per month. The study suggests that medically tailored home-delivered meals are a cost-effective approach to managing the health of individuals with complex medical and social needs.


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Project Open Hand, San Francisco, UCSF School of Medicine/Center for Vulnerable Populations, Food=Medicine Study: Pub, Journal of Urban Health

In 2014 Project Open Hand partnered with UCSF to launch a pilot program to study and evaluate the intervention in Type 2 Diabetes, HIV and co-morbidly diagnosed populations. The completion of this study provides scientific data to demonstrate that Project Open Hand’s food does indeed equal medicine for diabetes and HIV clients.

Key Results: 63% reduction in hospitalizations, 50% increase in medication adherence and 58% decrease in client emergency room visits.


MANNA, Philadelphia, PA, Examining Health Care Costs Among MANNA Clients and a Comparison Group: Pub. Journal Of Primary Care and Community Health

This study explored health care claims data on 65 MANNA clients over time in comparison with a matched set of Medicaid patients who did not receive MANNA services. This peer-reviewed research found that over the course of a year the MANNA clients accumulated an average of almost $12,000 less in medical expenses per month than the control group. The MANNA clients were hospitalized half as often, and, if they were hospitalized, the stay was 37% shorter and they were 23% more likely to be discharged to their home rather than sub-acute care. The cost savings among those who were hospitalized was dramatic with the mean monthly costs averaging $132,000 in the MANNA client group versus $220,000 in the comparison group.

God's Love We Deliver, New York, NY/Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, COMMUNITY HEALTH ADVISORY & INFORMATION NETWORK CHAIN

The policy team at God's Love We Deliver, teamed up with Dr. Angela Aidala at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health to analyze food-related questions in a longitudinal study of people living with HIV.

Food as Medicine White Paper- Community Servings

Provides extensive information on medically tailored home delivered meals and their positive effect on health outcomes.