Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana announced today that it has received a $450,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the Elevance Health Foundation, to continue its the ‘Food as Medicine’ program. Gleaners will once again partner with Eskenazi Health in this initiative.
The ‘Food as Medicine’ program, a Feeding America® initiative funded by the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, will help connect people facing hunger to food distribution programs that provide access to healthy food options. In Indianapolis, the program will provide Eskenazi Health patients who screen positive for food insecurity $30 vouchers that can be used at the Fresh for You Market on the hospital’s main campus, or at the new Fresh for You Market on Wheels, a mobile market launching later this year that will travel to different Eskenazi Health clinic neighborhoods that lack healthy food resources.
“Equitable access to healthy nutritious foods is a priority for Gleaners and our partners,” said Fred Glass, President and CEO. “This grant will allow us to join with Eskenazi Health to make these foods available and affordable to people throughout the city.”
The three-year grant will also be used to provide a refrigerated sprinter van to restock the mobile market, as well as program evaluation through data collection and surveys of program participants.
“We are strongly committed to food as medicine initiatives because the evidence is clear: a healthy diet can prevent a range of health problems,” said Beth Keyser, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “We are pleased to continue this partnership with Gleaners to improve the health of Hoosiers as we address the social barriers that prevent a person from being truly healthy.”
Food security and health are inextricably linked. The lack of access to nutritious foods can have serious, long-term effects on health and well-being, and it can make managing existing chronic conditions more difficult for people facing hunger.1 The ‘Food as Medicine’ program will provide Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Eskenazi Health with data collection capabilities that will help identify learnings and best practices to enable positive health outcomes in participants. Gleaners, a member of the Feeding America network, is one of 21 food banks to receive this funding from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.