Elevance Health Foundation Commits More Than $22 Million to Food as Medicine Programs

Elevance Health associates volunteer during the organization's kick-off event for Elevance Health Volunteer Days in Washington, D.C. During the months of September and October, leaders and associates from across the country will have an opportunity to volunteer at one of nearly 100 projects through Elevance Health Volunteer Days, all of which are aimed at fighting hunger. (Photo: Business Wire)

INDIANAPOLIS--()--The Elevance Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Elevance Health Inc., today announces the commitment of $22.8 million in grants for programs that leverage food as medicine. With an overall goal of helping individuals and families reach optimal health through good nutrition, each of these grants will focus on the following: using food interventions to help prevent or manage chronic conditions, improving access to and distributing food while providing long-term solutions for food security, and providing nutrition and health education. These grants are part of up to $30 million the Foundation plans to invest over the next three years to encourage food as medicine.

While reliable access to nutritious food is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, food insecurity is still one of the most critical unmet needs in the U.S., affecting 1 in 8 people in America. That’s one of the reasons why the Elevance Health Foundation has made food as medicine a key area of focus along with maternal health, substance use disorder, and disaster relief. These four pillars make up the Foundation’s overall commitment of up to $90 million over the next three years to improve critical health and health equity challenges in communities today, allowing the Foundation to strategically align with Elevance Health’s focus on becoming a lifetime, trusted health partner.

“Having consistent access to nutritious food is an essential part of maintaining one’s health and improving overall health outcomes. But between continued economic fallout from the pandemic, record-high food prices and more, access to healthy and nutritious food is getting harder for Americans,” said Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., Chief Health Officer of Elevance Health. “We know that hunger, health, and well-being are all deeply connected. That’s why the Elevance Health Foundation is focusing on programs that help prevent the onset of diet-related health conditions and demonstrate improved health outcomes. Our partners are committed to health equity and whole health and have a deep understanding of the health-related needs of the populations they serve.”

The Foundation will award more than $14 million to the Feeding America network, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, to expand its current partnership, known as the ‘Food as Medicine’ program, and help fund up to 30 member food banks that are working with healthcare partners. This multi-phased collaboration, which began in 2019, between hospital systems and food banks could influence our understanding of how Food as Medicine impacts clinical outcomes among people at risk of or suffering from a diet-related health condition, such as diabetes, cholesterol, or high blood pressure. As the largest grant in the Foundation’s history, Feeding America’s multi-phased program will:

  • Foster strong partnerships between food banks and health care partners
  • Screen patients for food insecurity during their health care visits
  • Connect people facing hunger to new food distribution programs
  • Enroll more participants into public benefit programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Continue to help people who are facing hunger make nutritious choices

In addition to Feeding America, 19 other organizations will receive more than $8.7 million over the next three years for their food as medicine initiatives:

  • Center of Wellness for Urban Women Inc.
  • Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio
  • Children’s Hunger Alliance
  • CORE Community Organized Relief Effort
  • Diabetes Association of Atlanta Inc.
  • Fit4Kids
  • Food & Friends Inc.
  • ForKids Inc.
  • Fresno Metropolitan Ministry
  • HealthLinc Inc.
  • IAAAA Education Institute Inc.
  • Meals on Wheels West
  • Midwest Food Bank NFP
  • Promoting Local Agricultural and Cultural Experiences Inc.
  • Project Open Hand
  • Thai Community Development Center
  • Union Hospital Inc.
  • Union Station Homeless Services
  • Virginia Foundation for Community College Education

To further drive home the importance of having access to healthy, nutritious food, the Elevance Health Foundation will launch its annual Volunteer Days initiative, which coincides with Hunger Action Month®, a month where the country collectively acts to end hunger. Elevance Health associates will volunteer at one of nearly 100 projects across the country, all of which are aimed at fighting hunger. From packing and sorting food for warehouse distribution to planting community gardens, associates will show up in their communities this fall.

For more information about the Elevance Health Foundation and future RFPs, please visit elevancehealth.foundation/for-grantseekers.


Elevance Health Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Elevance Health Inc. The Foundation works to advance health equity by focusing on improving the health of the socially vulnerable through partnerships and programs in our communities with an emphasis on maternal child health; substance use disorder; and food as medicine. Through its key areas of focus, the Foundation also strategically aligns with Elevance Health’s focus on community health and becoming a lifetime, trusted health partner that is fueled by its purpose to improve the health of humanity. To learn more about Elevance Health Foundation, please visit www.elevancehealth.foundation or follow us @ElevanceFND on Twitter and Elevance Health Foundation on Facebook.


Vanessa Stepanek
Elevance Health Foundation


Vanessa Stepanek
Elevance Health Foundation