Cornerstone Bank again contributes $15,000 to support the ‘Food is Medicine’ program at UMass Memorial Health Care

For the second consecutive year, Cornerstone Bank contributed $15,000 to UMass Memorial Health Care for its nutrition-focused “Food is Medicine” program. The goal of the program is to provide higher-risk patients with easier access to healthy food options that align with the diet recommendations provided by their physicians.

“We were impressed with the impact the Food Is Medicine program achieved last year, so we were eager to continue our support,” said Cornerstone Bank CEO Todd Tallman. “They exceeded their enrollment goals and are adding a new component this year. Programs like this one can have a profound impact on patient outcomes.”

For one of the program’s initiatives, UMass Memorial partnered with a community-based organization, About Fresh, to implement its Fresh Connect program in Worcester. Participants from Children’s Medical Center and the UMass Memorial Medical Center’s Oncology Department receive pre-paid debit cards, which can be used at most grocery stores to purchase healthy food options.

As part of the Growing Places program in Fitchburg, a fresh food mobile market is set up at the HealthAlliance-Clinton campus during the growing season. Participants are given tokens to purchase fresh, locally grown, healthy food from the mobile market and to further address other nutritional needs based on their specific clinical diagnosis. Enrollees are referred to Growing Place’s Winter Mobile Market during the winter.

This year, the Food is Medicine program is adding an additional food distribution partner, Eatwell, which will offer easy-to-prepare, nutritious and balanced meal kits distributed at the Diabetes Center of Excellence at the Leominster Campus of HealthAlliance-Clinton.