Food as Health Alliance
Food as Health Alliance



Research and Funding Opportunities

Current Pilot Programs

Graphioc representation of food as health alliance partners

Food as Medicine Pilot Programs

Across the state of Kentucky, the Food as Health Alliance is launching 4 new food as medicine pilot programs. These programs will test a variety of food delivery packages to food insecure populations who are experiencing diet sensitive chronic disease. This research will bring together partners from the healthcare, industry, agriculture, and non-profit sectors to research the ways in which addressing food insecurity can improve health outcomes in the Commonwealth. Eligible patients will work with their healthcare provider to be referred into one of the 4 programs.

Grocery Delivery: Lexington

In partnership with Instacart Health and University of Kentucky Healthcare, food insecure pregnant patients with gestational or type 2 diabetes will receive a free weekly delivery of nutritious groceries.

Medically Tailored Meals: Louisville

In partnership with Dare to Care food bank and University of Louisville Healthcare, food insecure pregnant patients with gestational or type 2 diabetes will receive 10 nutritionally tailored frozen meals weekly.

Medically Tailored Meals: Lexington

In partnership with Mom’s Meals and University of Kentucky Healthcare, food insecure patients experiencing type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension will receive 10 nutritionally tailored frozen meals weekly.

Meal Box Delivery: Eastern KY

In partnership with Food City, DoorDash, and Appalachian Regional Healthcare, food insecure patients with type 2 diabetes and/or hypertension will receive meal kit boxes with groceries and recipes.

Student Opportunities

Food Connection’s Student Opportunity Grants

This grant is funded through an endowment in order to enhance student opportunities for study of food and food systems, and which contribute to the Food Connection’s mission of promoting vibrant and sustainable agro-food systems. Proposals clearly related to food or food systems will be accepted from any program at the University of Kentucky, until March 30.

Request for Proposals

Food as Health Alliance Student Opportunities

The Alliance will soon be accepting applications for student researchers from the College of Medicine, the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, and the College of Nursing. We will have a variety of research opportunities available in the study of food as medicine and the impacts of food insecurity on diet related health outcomes.

Learn More & Apply

Current Research

High Obesity Program Logo

In partnership with the CDC's High Obesity Program and Cooperative Extension, current research is underway looking at ways to increase access to healthier foods in rural Appalachian communities with greater than 40% obesity.

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Additional Funding Opportunities

NIH logo

National Institutes of Health

The NIH has released a Notice of Special Interest for: Stimulating Research to Understand and Address Hunger, Food and Nutrition Insecurity, which includes the relationship between food insecurity and chronic disease. There is a call for proposals open until November, 2024.

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Elevance Health Logo

Elevance Health Foundation

Over the next three years, the Elevance Health Foundation will invest up to $90 million in partnerships and programs that address health inequities by demonstrating measurable and positive change with funds allocated for Food as Medicine programs.

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Rockefeller foundation logo

Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation has committed $4.6 million in grants for equitable and community-directed approaches to prevent, manage, and treat diet-related illnesses in the United States. The funding will support grantees advancing Food is Medicine interventions focused on building partnerships with key stakeholders and bridging the gaps between food and health care.

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Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Logo

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Foundation accepts applications for research grant funding on an annual basis within the Foundation’s external, online application platform, linked below. The Foundation is currently accepting applications for most Foundation research grants. Applications for Foundation research grants are available within the Foundation’s application platform.

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Kroger logo

Kroger Foundation

The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, established in 2018, is a public charity that aims to transform our food system through collective action and innovation. Last year, the Foundation directed $18 million in grants to organizations who share this mission.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation logo

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health seeks proposals that are primed to influence health equity in the future. We are interested in ideas that address any of these four areas of focus: Future of Evidence; Future of Social Interaction; Future of Food; Future of Work.

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Cigna Foundation logo

Cigna Foundation

Healthier Kids for Our Future: A five-year, $25 million global initiative that addresses the challenges affecting children’s health today. Their program has two focus areas: reducing food insecurity, and addressing the mental health and emotional well-being of children throughout the world.

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Walmart Foundation Logo

Walmart Foundation

Healthier Food for All - strives to improve access and availability to healthier food, and support programs that provide nutrition education to increase people’s confidence in selecting, preparing and serving healthier foods.

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Humana Foundation logo

Humana Foundation

The Humana Foundation’s research seeks to advance health by understanding and addressing social determinants of health (SDOH), the economic and social conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

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William T. Grant Foundation logo

William T. Grant Foundation

This program supports research to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people ages 5-25 in the United States.

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Wholesome Wave logo

Wholesome Wave

Wholesome Wave is fighting nutrition insecurity across the US by developing and deploying programs, platforms, and seed funding to help a network of community-based organizations address the lack of affordability and access to healthy food.

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Russel Sage Foundation Logo

Russell Sage Foundation

The Russell Sage Foundation’s (RSF) program on Social, Political, and Economic Inequality supports innovative research on the factors that contribute to social, political, and economic inequalities in the U.S.

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Recent Research into Food as Health

Food is medicine: actions to integrate food and nutrition into healthcare

British Medical Journal, 2020

Explore the Article

“I was able to eat what I am supposed to eat”-- patient reflections on a medically-tailored meal intervention: a qualitative analysis

BMC Endocrine Disorders, 2020

Explore the Article

Association Between Receipt of a Medically Tailored Meal Program and Health Care Use

JAMA Internal Medicine, 2019

Explore the Article

Meal Delivery Programs Reduce the Use of Costly Health Care in Dually Eligible Medicare And Medicaid Beneficiaries

Health Affairs, 2018

Explore the Article

Connect With Us

Alliance logo

308 Funkhouser Building
Lexington, KY 40506


Alison Gustafson

Program Director

Contact Alison Gustafson

Christa Mayfield

Research Coordinator

Contact Christa Mayfield

Lauren Batey

Program Coordinator
Contact Lauren Batey

Contact Information

Dr. Alison Gustafson, Ph.D.

206G Funkhouser Building Lexington, KY 40506

(859) 257-3707