Home » UK’s Food as Health Alliance celebrates official launch

UK’s Food as Health Alliance celebrates official launch

Tom Stephens, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Health Plans, pictured with Alison Gustafson, director of Food as Health Alliance at UK.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — As part of the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Food as Health Alliance celebrated its official launch last week.

On April 26, board members, donors and partners commemorated the event at the Food Connection, where they began laying the groundwork for how to reduce food insecurity and improve diet-sensitive health outcomes across the Commonwealth.

The Food as Health Alliance aims to create partnerships between clinical, community, academic and industry leaders for improved statewide methods in the delivery, evaluation and technical assistance for “food as medicine” programs. This event featured the exciting announcement of a $200,000 contribution from the Kentucky Association of Health Plans. The gift will fund four upcoming research pilot projects in both urban and rural communities.

The four pilot programs have key partnerships that will help develop the most cost-effective and clinically meaningful food delivery programs, like grocery prescription or medically tailored meals. Clinical outcomes will be measured, along with impacts on health care costs among food insecure adults who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, heart disease or gestational diabetes.

“I am so moved by the array of individuals and organizations across our state that are devoted to reducing food insecurity and improving the health of our residents,” said Alison Gustafson, Ph.D., director of Food as Health Alliance.

The Food as Health Alliance unofficially began in January 2023. In just a short time, the team has had their Instacart partnership endorsed by The White House, developed a website and social media accounts, produced 10 nutrition focused cooking videos, released internal grant funding, and developed plans for clinician training videos.

To learn more, visit foodashealthalliance.ca.uky.edu.

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