ALL IN’s Recipe4Health initiative is an integrative model for healthcare that addresses the social determinants of health (specifically food insecurity and social isolation) and chronic disease. This model advances health and racial equity by transforming the healthcare system’s capacity to increase access to and utilization of affordable, nutrient-rich, medically supportive food and to provide ongoing behavioral change support to improve the overall health of communities. Recipe4Health focuses on using medically supportive food from farms using regenerative farming practices that improve soil health, human health, and planetary health with an equity lens.
What is medically supportive food and nutrition?
- A spectrum of interventions that provide nutrient-rich, whole food used for prevention, reversal, or management of certain health conditions
- Includes any fruit, vegetable, legume, nut, seed, whole grain, low mercury/high omega-3 fatty acid seafood, and/or lean animal protein
- Includes behavioral and nutritional coaching and education to amplify the effect of medically supportive food
Recipe4Health promotes the use of medically supportive food in healthcare clinics. Urban farmers, who use regenerative practices, like Dig Deep Farms will play an increasingly important role as the demand for medically supportive food grows.
Clinically Integrated Recipe4Health Model
At clinically integrated sites, including Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Native American Health Center, LifeLong Medical Center, Alameda Health System-Hayward Wellness, and Bay Area Community Health, the Recipe4Health initiative uses three ingredients to improve the health of patients and the community: a Food Farmacy, a Behavioral Pharmacy, and Food as Medicine training for health center staff. For more information about Recipe4Health’s clinically integrated model, click here.
In partnership with the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, and with funding from Measure A, Recipe4Health supports food farmacies at Roots Community Clinic, La Clinica de la Raza, and West Oakland Health Council. Each month these clinics combine a food farmacy with other services (e.g., CalFresh enrollment, health education, dental and optometry stands, etc.).
Measure A raised the sales tax by one-half cent to provide financial support for medical and public health services for Alameda County residents in need. Click here to learn more about Measure A funding.
ALL IN is working to identify sustainable funding mechanisms and recommend policy changes to make medically supportive food and nutrition services a covered benefit by Medi-Cal managed care plans. For more information on policy work related to medically supportive foods and nutrition services, click here.
For healthcare teams, patients, & family members
Resources for Healthcare Teams
Recipe4Health seeks to transform the healthcare system’s capacity to increase access to affordable, nutrient-rich food and provide ongoing group behavioral support to improve overall health and wellbeing for their patients.
ALL IN developed “Rooting Food as Medicine in Healthcare” for primary care clinics and other healthcare settings that want to incorporate “food as medicine” initiatives into their practice and workflow. Because every health center has a different culture it includes suggested templates and timelines that can be adapted for specific needs.
Research and Evaluation
Resources for Patients and Family Members
ALL IN provides resources for people and families who want to use food to improve their health and wellbeing. Resources include recipes, cooking videos, and handouts on using food to treat specific conditions.
Stanford University, the University of California San Francisco, the Community Health Center Network, Alameda Alliance for Health, and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition are working together to evaluate and research Recipe4Health’s impact on health outcomes, healthcare utilization, patient reported outcomes, health related behaviors, and food insecurity.
Open Source Wellness, in partnership with the Alameda Health System, published an analysis of the effectiveness of a clinic-based group medical visit integration of the behavioral pharmacy model in a federally qualified health center in Hayward, California. They demonstrated significant increases in daily servings of fruits and vegetables and exercise.