Instacart and HHS Launch Public-Private Partnership to Scale Food as Medicine Programs and Improve Health Outcomes Across the United States

January 31, 2024

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Instacart (Nasdaq: CART), the leading grocery technology company in North America, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today announced a new public-private partnership to support and scale food as medicine interventions, including by increasing access to nutritious food and offering the tools needed to support better health and wellbeing for individuals and families across the country.

Through the partnership, Instacart and HHS will seek opportunities to support food as medicine programs, research, outreach, and policy priorities that improve health outcomes and health equity across the United States. Together, they have committed to engaging and educating the public on the power of using food as medicine; advancing understanding of food as medicine intervention techniques and impacts among key public- and private-sector stakeholders; and developing new approaches to scale successful food as medicine programs to reach more individuals and communities.

"HHS and Instacart are working together to accelerate food as medicine adoption in various health systems and communities. We are eager to build on this dynamic opportunity and we anticipate powerful outcomes through collaborative action," said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "One of our shared priorities is to engage the public in understanding food is medicine. We seek to help accelerate interventions, and build strategies to expand successful programs to more eligible Americans. The Biden-Harris Administration is using every lever available to drive new innovations in policy, and deliver durable solutions that improve our health."

More specifically, the new partnership between Instacart and HHS — which was announced at the inaugural HHS Food as Medicine Summit in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday — focuses on four pillars:

  • Advancing and leveraging food as medicine research design and findings to produce evidence on clinical health outcomes, cost effectiveness and optimal program design;
  • Identifying food as medicine implementation strategies through policy and public funding frameworks;
  • Optimizing communication to educate the public about the value of food as medicine interventions and resources;
  • Ensuring food as medicine interventions support diverse individuals and communities, with a focus on health equity.

"At Instacart, we believe in the power of food as medicine, which is why we're building new technologies, advancing research, and advocating for policies that make it as easy for providers to prescribe food as it is to prescribe medicine," said Dani Dudeck, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Instacart. "Instacart shares HHS's unwavering commitment to improving health through the power of food, and we're proud to launch this public-private partnership with the agency to expand access to nutritious food and improve health outcomes. Together, we can ensure the food as medicine movement reaches every family and community across the country."

The partnership continues to build out the company's Instacart Health initiative, launched in 2022 at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Through the initiative, Instacart is leveraging its technology, partnerships, research, and advocacy to expand access to nutritious food, inspire healthy choices, and scale food as medicine programs.

As part of that work, the company has developed new technology and infrastructure to power food as medicine programs, including produce prescription initiatives and other nutrition interventions. Instacart Health tools include category-specific food stipends called Fresh Funds, Virtual Storefronts, and more. Instacart has partnered with dozens of leading health care providers, insurers, researchers, and nutrition organizations to deploy these tools for people with diet-related health conditions as well as study their impact on health outcomes and health care costs.

For HHS, the partnership is part of its Food is Medicine initiative, launched in response to a congressionally-funded initiative in 2023. This congressional action directed the HHS Secretary, in consultation with other agencies, to design and implement a federal strategy to reduce nutrition-related chronic diseases and food insecurity to improve health and racial equity across the United States. HHS's approach includes listening to communities and implementation partners, cultivating partnerships with cross-sector leaders, and developing resources to support broader action and uptake of food as medicine programs.

For video of today's announcement and a subsequent panel at the HHS Food is Medicine Summit featuring HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Instacart CCAO Dani Dudeck, please click here.

About HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mission is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services. HHS administers more than 100 programs across its operating divisions. HHS programs protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

About Instacart

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 1,400 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.

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