Company Updates

Examining the Impact of Food as Medicine: New Kaiser Permanente and Instacart Health Study 

Sarah Mastrorocco

Sarah Mastrorocco

Oct 6, 2023

Nutrition and health are deeply intertwined, but far too many people lack reliable access to nutritious foods. In 2022, the CDC reported that 100 million people in the United States suffer from diet-related disease. Many of America’s health problems are food problems, and we’re leveraging the power of Instacart to bridge the gap and provide access to delivery of nutritious foods to more people in support of their health and well-being. 

We’re proud to announce a new study with Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health care provider, that will measure the impact of convenient access to nutritious foods on health outcomes. Serving Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Southern California Medi-Cal members with diet-related diseases, the study will provide participants with Instacart Health Fresh Funds that can be used to purchase nutritious foods and pantry staples like fresh and frozen produce, legumes, and plant-based oils and spices, from Kaiser Permanente’s curated Instacart Virtual Storefront. Other collaborators in the study include the Food is Medicine Institute at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

By using Instacart Health tools like Fresh Funds and Virtual Storefronts, Kaiser Permanente patients enrolled in this study can now take immediate action on their providers’ medically tailored nutrition advice. In addition, the program provides dignity of choice, empowering participants to use their Fresh Funds to select the items that work best for them from Kaiser Permanente’s recommended products. Participants also have access to a broad selection of national, regional and local retailers on Instacart, allowing them to get what they need delivered from their favorite grocer.

Last week, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University published a new report that shows food as medicine interventions would improve or lengthen the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and reduce healthcare costs. The study found that incorporating targeted food and nutrition strategies into healthcare on a national level will improve health and quality of life, reduce work for hospitals, and cut costs. 

We look forward to continuing to build on this and other important research through our new study with Kaiser Permanente. Through these kinds of public and private partnerships, we can create the evidence needed to support scaling the power of food as medicine to benefit even more families and communities.

Read more about our partnership in the press release here.

Sarah Mastrorocco

Sarah Mastrorocco

Sarah Mastrorocco is Vice President and General Manager of Health for Instacart. A longtime Instacart veteran and leader, Sarah today oversees Instacart Health, designed to support businesses, nonprofits and consumers across three key areas: Nutrition Security, Making Healthier Choices Easier, and Food as Medicine. Sarah has played an integral role at Instacart since joining as the first member of the company’s business development team in 2014. During her tenure at Instacart, she’s taken on various leadership positions across Business Development, Account Management, and Catalog. Prior to this current role, Sarah oversaw and scaled Instacart’s Pickup business.

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