Health Care Partnerships

Nutrition Intervention Services

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Overview

Revolutionizing the Health Care System Through Food Security

We know food insecurity affects health in profound ways, and that improved food access leads to improved health outcomes. As a partner in MassHealth's Flexible Services Program, Project Bread is treating food insecurity through the health care system to improve long-term patient health outcomes. 

This revolutionary pilot program allows Medicaid dollars to be used on “non-medical” expenses to address two social determinants of health — food insecurity and housing stability.

One of the only kind in the nation, Project Bread’s model goes beyond prescriptions for food by offering comprehensive case management to certain eligible MassHealth patients who are both food insecure and have a physical or behavioral health diagnosis.

This ground-breaking program is demonstrating an improvement in both food security and health of participants.

Impact Stat Background

Our Impact

5,000 patients served

to combat chronic food-insecurity

Red Stars Line

I’ve had no working refrigerator for six years. I can’t cook, and I live on cold canned soup. I’m so grateful they are helping to improve my situation, starting with a new fridge and fixing my kitchen sink.”

MassHealth patient, Flexible Service Program

A Coordinated Effort

Referrals to our Health Care Partnerships program come from our Accountable Care Organization partners Community Care Cooperative (C3), Boston Medical Center ACO and Boston Children's Hospital ACO. Collectively they send us referrals referrals* from over 40 community health centers, physician offices and hospitals across the Commonwealth.

We provide individualized support to these food insecure patients with medically complex health issues by addressing social, environmental and economic factors that influence their ability to purchase, prepare and consume healthy foods.

Depending on need, members may receive: grocery store gift cards; transportation assistance; procurement of kitchen supplies and appliances; cooking classes; nutrition counseling; referrals for medically tailored meals; assistance connecting with federal nutrition assistance program like SNAP and WIC; and referrals to nearby food pantries.

*Flexible Services is not an entitlement program or a covered service, and not all MassHealth members will receive these specific supports.

650 patients reported they were food secure after six-months of participating in the Flexible Services Program.

Senior disabled man stirs a bowl while he looks over his shoulder to see if he is doing it right

The Facts

Food insecure adults are 40% more likely to have chronic illness.

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