MetroPlusHealth and God’s Love We Deliver Provide Medically Tailored Meals: Food as Medicine in Healthcare Spotlight

by Marissa Sheldon

What they do: MetroPlusHealth is a New York City health plan that serves more than 675,000 New Yorkers with the goal of guaranteeing affordable, quality healthcare for all. Starting on July 1, 2022, they began offering a free an in-lieu-of services medically tailored meals program in partnership with God’s Love We Deliver (God’s Love), the NYC metropolitan area’s leading provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition counseling for individuals living with severe and chronic illness. The program is offered to members over the age of 18 who are on Medicaid and have had a specified number of inpatient hospital stays or emergency room visits in the previous 12 months due to cancer, diabetes, heart failure, or HIV/AIDS.

Eligible members will receive a call from a MetroPlusHealth representative inviting them to participate in the program. Joining the program is entirely voluntary, and a member’s decision to participate or not will not affect their Medicaid eligibility or benefits. Program participants work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to create a menu specifically tailored to address the members’ illnesses, treatments, and preferences, and receive nutrition education and counseling. Participants can receive up to three meals per day delivered directly to their homes for six months at a time, with the option of extending the service as long as the participant is still eligible.

How they do it: MetroPlusHealth partners with the New York City-based nonprofit God’s Love We Deliver to provide nutritious meals at no cost to participants. God’s Love prepares the meals and delivers them directly to members’ homes via refrigerated vans twice a week. 

Mission: To ensure a continuum of health care that is always of the highest quality and broadly accessible to those who need it. 

Major Funding: Self-funded

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit 

Annual Budget: N/A 

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect health: Medically tailored meals are a no-cost option for managing chronic health conditions, reducing hospital visits, lowering health care costs, and increasing patient satisfaction.  

FACT SHEET:

Locations: New York City home delivery

Core Programs: Medically tailored meals and nutrition education and counseling 

Number of staff: 
MetroPlusHealth: 1,500
God’s Love We Deliver: 140

Number of volunteers: 
MetroPlusHealth: 0
God’s Love We Deliver: Thousands

Areas served: New York City

Year Program Started: 2022

CEO: 
MetroPlusHealth: Dr. Talya Schwartz
God’s Love We Deliver: Karen Pearl

Contact Information: 
Divendra Jaffar, MetroPlusHealth
Phone: 212-908-3380/646-952-3243 
Email: jaffadi@metroplus.org 

Emmett Findley, God’s Love We Deliver
Email: efindley@glwd.org  

Learn More:

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