At United Way, we believe that every family should have access to healthy foods, particularly fruits, and vegetables.
United Way of Western Connecticut received $1,050,000 through Congressionally Directed Spending with the support of Senator Murphy and Senator Blumenthal to launch a food as medicine ‘Greater Danbury Food Farmacy’ initiative in partnership with Nuvance Health Danbury. The Food Farmacy will aim to improve health outcomes and food security amongst Nuvance Health Danbury clients experiencing diet-related comorbidities who also screen positive for food insecurity.
Food pharmacies are community-based sites designed to increase access to and consumption of healthful foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, for those individuals diagnosed with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and/or hypertension.
The Food Farmacy will be a grocery-style food pantry co-located with the Connecticut Institute for Communities’ Community Center (“CIFC”) in downtown Danbury. The actual Farmacy will be located at: 12 Boughton Street, Danbury inside the Danbury Community Center. Physicians and health care providers will “prescribe” healthy foods over a nine-month period for 100 patients that are screened food insecure and identified as experiencing hypertension.
Identified individuals will be given an Rx which can be “filled” at the Food Farmacy twice a month and complemented by accessing United Way’s Healthy Savings fresh produce benefits at participating retailers. Participants will have access to a dietitian, program administrator, and a community health worker to link them with other wrap-around social service supports, as well as monthly healthy meal preparation classes. All qualifying participants will be enrolled in United Way’s Healthy Savings program, which includes $100 per month for fresh produce at participating retailers. UConn Extension educators will offer clients monthly healthy cooking and nutrition education courses to be paired with cooking equipment starter kits to encourage healthy eating at home. A dedicated physician and data analyst will monitor program impacts on patient outcomes. This integrated approach not only addresses a patient’s nutritional needs but also helps to identify other social or structural determinants of health impacting the patient’s overall well-being.