GBRFB receives $450K grant to continue ‘Food is Medicine’ program

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank recently received a grant to continue the Food is Medicine program.
Published: Nov. 5, 2023 at 11:30 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 5, 2023 at 11:33 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank was awarded a $450,000 grant from Healthy Blue Louisiana’s affiliated Foundation to continue and expand the ‘Food is Medicine’ program.

The funding will amplify collaborative efforts between Healthy Blue, the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and the partnering healthcare providers who screen patients for food insecurity during care visits and connect them with Food Bank resources.

The ‘Food is Medicine’ program, a Feeding America® initiative funded by Healthy Blue’s affiliated Foundation, was launched in 2021 to improve health outcomes by creating easy access to fresh, nutritious foods that are often unattainable or unaffordable by vulnerable Louisianans. The program works in partnership with hospitals, clinics and health facilities that identify patients who are facing food insecurity. Healthcare providers keep healthy food boxes onsite and provide them to patients identified as food insecure. The food boxes come with education and information on how to continue accessing resources from the food bank. Over the past couple of years, this program has supported hundreds of patients and has dramatically improved lives.

“Continuing the ‘Food is Medicine’ program will give us the ability to reach more individuals that are food insecure,” said Mike Manning, President, and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. “The introduction of the ‘Food is Medicine’ program into our 11-parish service area has expanded our reach to approximately 400 more individuals monthly, and we are eager to continue the program’s expansion with support from Healthy Blue and its affiliated Foundation.”

The new funding will allow more healthcare partners to screen and refer hundreds of more patients into the program over the next three years. This next phase of the program will also help the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and Healthy Blue’s affiliated Foundation to implement enhanced data collection, sharing and analysis to better understand the needs of people facing hunger and deliver effective solutions.

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