Lack of access to affordable, healthy food is one of the main contributors to high diabetes and obesity rates in many low-income communities. Mount Sinai hospital recognized these startling health concerns, and with the help of a New York State research grant and start-up funding from the Illumination Fund, they created the Powerfood Project. Powerfood is a pilot initiative for adult patients with poorly controlled diabetes and obese children seen in the primary care clinics of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Corbin Hill Food Project, along with New York Common Pantry, joined the Powerfood initiative as a way to bridge the food access gap.
Mount Sinai utilized a food insecurity screening tool and these patients were then introduced to Corbin Hill’s Farm Share program, which was delivered to Mount Sinai Hospital every otherWednesday. Through ProjectPowerfood, every patient received the first box for free, and any subsequent orders are half-off with the option to pay with cash, credit, debt, or SNAP.
One of the key learnings cited in the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s Healthy Food and Community Change Initiative Report (2013-2018) states:
“The partnership with Corbin Hill and New York Common Pantry is invaluable. These organizations provide critical insights to provide the right resources, to help inform the selection of produce in the Farm Shares, and to gain an understanding of families’ needs to improve program implementation...Beyond Mount Sinai, this groundbreaking work will be key for the NYC community and an important model for other hospitals and healthcare settings that are making access to healthy food part of the conversation with patients.” (Healthy Food and Community Change Initiative 2013-2018. A report by Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors and Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Pg.72)