AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Evidence-based weight care program Found, in partnership with Instacart, the leading grocery technology company in North America, and Unite Us, the nation’s leading software company that enables cross-sector collaboration to improve people’s well-being, today announced the launch of the Healthy Habits program, which will provide education and guidance on healthy food habits and expand access to nutritious foods for Rio Grande Valley (RGV) community members. The program was created to provide the Food Bank of RGV with an all-encompassing program to improve access to nutritional foods and actionable behavior change advice, leading to better, lasting health outcomes for a community combating both food insecurity and high rates of obesity, including the city of McAllen, Texas, which has the highest concentration of adults suffering from obesity in the country.
Found will donate $20,000 in Instacart Fresh Funds, a customizable stipend that enables people to buy recommended foods from a curated nutritional list created by Found registered dietitians. Fresh Funds will be delivered over a three-month period to 60 local RGV community members. Currently part of the food bank’s nutrition program, all 60 members have diabetes and other comorbidities and are interested in changing their health outcomes through nutrition education and access to healthier foods. Community members participating in the program will also be given free delivery and reduced service fees on every order.
“Obesity is not a decision, but rather a result of multiple complex factors like education, access to nutritious food, biology, and medical experts who can tailor treatment to the individual. It should be treated with the same level of care as any other chronic disease,” said Sarah Romotsky, Registered Dietitian and Head of Strategic Partnerships at Found. “The Healthy Habits program directly responds to many of those factors, aiming to help change a community's health outcomes through greater access to quality food, nutrition education, and behavior change guidance.”
Nearly 90% of the community served by the Food Bank of RGV is Hispanic, with 30% living in poverty. Additionally, 50% of the children they serve live with food insecurity, and many in the community live in food deserts.
“We’re proud to partner with Found, Unite Us and the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley to help more people access the nutritious foods they need to live a healthier life,” said Laura Anderson, Director of Social Impact at Instacart. “By using Instacart Health tools like Fresh Funds, we’re able to help scale nutrition-focused programs like this one, increasing equitable access with delivery and enabling individual choice in a new way for food bank clients.”
Instacart first partnered with Found in the fall of 2022 to make Found expert-developed nutrition guidance and recipes shoppable via Instacart.
Each month, the 60 program members will receive their monthly food distribution from the food bank and a monthly code to utilize their Fresh Funds, which is documented in the Unite Us Platform, allowing the food bank to track and measure progress from this program. To obtain their food distribution and Fresh Funds code, members must attend an in-person nutrition class at the food bank and participate in a walking garden program to encourage more movement and being outdoors. In addition, Found will provide guidance on weekly actionable habits, further incorporating lasting behavioral and nutritional changes. Participants will be qualitatively surveyed once a month to share how the program is impacting their ability to live a healthier life. Following this pilot with the Food Bank of Rio Grande Valley, the plan is to duplicate the Healthy Habits program with other communities in need.
“While the Healthy Habits program includes 60 members, many of them live in low-income households that often account for several generations, meaning access to healthier food, nutritional education, and behavior-change guidance will support a much larger community,” said Sandra L. Gonzalez, Senior Manager of Health and Social Services at the Food Bank of RGV.
The Healthy Habits program will launch on June 8, 2023 at “Found on the Ground,” a local community service event led by Found in partnership with the Food Bank of RGV. The event will include the food bank’s monthly food distribution to members and the program’s first nutrition class, followed by a lunch and celebration with the community. Local community members are welcome to join and volunteer to help with food distribution.
The Unite Us Platform will help program leaders keep notes and track which members are coming to get their food, who is engaging with the nutrition classes, and who is showing up for movement programs so that they can encourage participation as needed.
“The collective goal of this program and these partnerships is to effectively increase equitable access to healthy foods for residents in Rio Grande Valley and, ultimately, to redefine the quality, impact, and intersection of health and social care across this community,” said Myra Rodriguez, Community Engagement Manager of Community Success in South Texas at Unite Us.
Found is an evidence-based weight care solution that combines the best of modern medicine with lasting behavior change, access to personalized coaching and a supportive community. Centered around clinical care, Found provides its members with a comprehensive weight-loss program that delivers long-term, sustainable results. Found designs personalized treatments around every factor that makes people unique, including biology, medical history, mental health, existent lifestyle, goals, and more. Found’s members are supported by a team that includes providers to prescribe safe medication, and the best of consumer technology to provide behavioral health interventions delivered through our app for guidance on nutrition, movement, sleep and emotional health. Found is one of the largest medically-assisted weight loss clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 Americans to-date. For more information, visit www.joinfound.com.
About The Food Bank of Rio Grande Valley
Grown to become the 52nd largest in the nation and 7th largest in Texas based on distribution. The Food Bank serves Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron Counties. To learn more: http://www.foodbankrgv.com.
Instacart, the leading grocery technology company in North America, works with grocers and retailers to transform how people shop. The company partners with more than 1,200 national, regional, and local retail banners to facilitate online shopping, delivery and pickup services from more than 80,000 stores across North America on the Instacart Marketplace. Instacart makes it possible for millions of people to get the groceries they need from the retailers they love, and for approximately 600,000 Instacart shoppers to earn by picking, packing and delivering orders on their own flexible schedule. The Instacart Platform offers retailers a suite of enterprise-grade technology products and services to power their e-commerce experiences, fulfill orders, digitize brick-and-mortar stores, provide advertising services, and glean insights. With Instacart Ads, thousands of CPG brands – from category leaders to emerging brands – partner with the company to connect directly with consumers online, right at the point of purchase. With Instacart Health, the company is providing tools to increase nutrition security, make healthy choices easier for consumers, and expand the role that food can play in improving health outcomes. For more information, visit www.instacart.com/company, and to start shopping, visit www.instacart.com.
About Unite Us
Unite Us is the nation’s leading software company enabling collaboration across sectors to improve the health and well-being of communities. Unite Us’ secure solutions establish a new standard of care that identifies social care needs, helps connect people to services, and leverages meaningful outcomes data to further drive community investment. Through Unite Us’ national network and software, community-based organizations, government agencies, health plans, and healthcare providers are all connected to better collaborate and meet the needs of the individuals in their communities. Follow Unite Us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.