Instacart partners with five higher education institutions for food as medicine research

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The five projects will further Instacart’s research on food as medicine programs. |Image courtesy of Instacart

Instacart is partnering with five higher education institutions to further its food as medicine efforts.

Meharry Medical College, The Ohio State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Pennsylvania and researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Louisiana Public Health Institute will work with Instacart on five different research projects.

Each project will allow the grocery delivery company to conduct new research to analyze the impact food as medicine programs have on health outcomes and costs for various population groups.

As part of the partnership with The Ohio State University, for example, researchers will study the impact of food as medicine interventions on Medicaid-enrolled patients with cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic (CKM) syndrome. The team will use Instacart Health Fresh Funds (digital, category-specific food stipends) and Virtual Storefronts (a program that allows participants to shop from medically-tailored grocery lists created by registered dietitians) for the study.

“At Instacart, we believe in the power of food as medicine, and we are committed to using our unique technology and reach to support groundbreaking research on food as medicine programs,” Sarah Fleisch, senior director of policy research and development at Instacart, said in a statement. “We’re proud to partner with researchers at these leading academic institutions to uncover the evidence needed to scale food as medicine programs and ensure they reach more patients, families, and communities.” 

Instacart has been expanding its food as medicine efforts as of late. In the fall, the company partnered with Wellness West to provide groceries to food insecure and chronically ill residents on the West Side of Chicago and it also teamed up with Alignment Health to offer Instacart’s first Medicare Advantage Plan.