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

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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) fACT sHEETS

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.

FIMC Agency Research in Progress


God’s Love We Deliver, New York, NY/NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center/Helmsley Foundation

“Food as medicine: A randomized controlled trial of home delivered, medically tailored meals (MTHDM) on quality of life in metastatic lung and non-colorectal GI cancer patients.”

This study, the first randomized-controlled trial of medically tailored meals as a healthcare intervention, is evaluating standard of care versus standard of care and MTHDM in metastatic lung and non-colorectal GI cancers with primary aim comparing QUOL between 2 arms at 12 weeks using the fact-G questionnaire.

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.


Project Angel Heart, Denver, CO- “Quantifying the Impact of Medically Tailored Meals on Health Care Costs”

Utilizing medical claims data from the Colorado All Payers Claim Database, Project Angel Heart is examining the cost patterns of medically tailored meal recipients (examining inpatient, outpatient, professional, and pharmacy costs and claims), and comparing utilization (costs and claims) to a control group. Emergency room utilization and all-cause 30 day readmissions are also being analyzed. Results will be segmented by line of business, payer and disease.

Stay tuned for the published results.