This has been a season of significant policy shifts and successes. Here’s a quick round-up.
This September, God’s Love We Deliver convened the 11th Annual Food is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) National Symposium, attended by peer nonprofit, medically tailored meal (MTM) providers from across the country. Amid a global pandemic that has further illustrated the impact of healthcare disparities on low-income communities of color, it was meaningful to gather around the Symposium theme: Health Equity in Action. Across five tracks of content covering Policy, Healthcare Contracting, Operations, Nutrition and Development, the over 300 attendees walked away with cutting-edge research, peer learning, actionable items, and updates on healthcare innovations across the country. We finished the Symposium with closing remarks from long-time food is medicine champion, Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the Chair of the Rules Committee, and the Co-Chair of the House Hunger Caucus.
In addition to the success of the Symposium, we have seen major advances in spreading the word about the power of medically tailored meals. On September 1, Karen Pearl testified at a roundtable hearing of the Rules Committee: Ending Hunger in America: Food As Medicine. This was the seventh in a series of Committee events highlighting the reality of food insecurity in America and examining the steps that Congress and the Biden administration can take to equitably combat it. On the same day, Mr. McGovern along with all 25 Chairs
of House Committees, sent a letter to President Biden, calling on him to convene a national conference to end hunger.
Shortly following the Symposium, Mr. McGovern and other members of the Bipartisan Food Is Medicine Working Group re-introduced the Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meal Demonstration Pilot Act of 2021 (H.R.5370). The bill would establish a multi-state Medicare MTM pilot program, while providing the outcomes data we need to build a more resilient and cost-effective health care system.
Thoughtful policy changes such as these are steps in the right direction. We believe the time is now to fully fund and implement our transformative food is medicine intervention as key to achieving health equity across the country. Let’s advocate!