Company Updates

Scaling food as medicine programs with providers like Boston Children’s Hospital

Sarah Mastrorocco

Sarah Mastrorocco

Mar 24, 2023

It is widely accepted that nutrition is critical to health but today over 30 million people in the U.S. live in food-insecure households – including as many as 9 million children1. Studies have shown that nearly 46% of adults and 56% of children in the U.S. have an overall poor-quality diet, and unhealthy diets account for more than $50 billion in U.S. healthcare costs2,3.

Healthcare providers understand how valuable a nutritious diet can be in keeping people healthy, whether it’s ensuring a patient has access to day-to-day nutrients, helping a patient manage their diet-restrictive disease, or supporting a patient that needs to adhere to a strict diet to heal after surgery.

But, until now, challenges have made it unmanageable for providers to ‘prescribe’ healthy meals and launch food as medicine programs for their patients at scale. Today, in collaboration with the White House, we’re proud to announce the availability of the Instacart Health product suite for providers, which helps eliminate the obstacles to establishing robust food as medicine programs for patients.

Instacart Health’s provider products are designed to enhance collaborative care, promote healthy choices and deliver nutritious foods to patients across the country. Through Instacart Health, we’re giving providers the tools required to build virtual food pharmacies and deliver actionable nutrition advice to their patients through our platform. Instacart Health products – like Fresh Funds and Care Carts – expand access by helping providers prescribe nutritious foods as easily as they prescribe medications. And our Shoppable Recipes, Lists for Nutrition and Virtual Storefronts allow providers to educate and inspire patients to make healthier choices with just a few taps. With our technology, healthcare providers can expand proven nutrition programs and more deeply integrate food as medicine into standard patient care.

As part of today’s news, we’re also proud to announce that Boston Children’s Hospital is among the first health systems to leverage Instacart Health products for its patients, establishing new food as medicine programs to help them get the nourishment they need to manage and maintain their health.

With Instacart’s scale, we have the reach required to help providers deliver better health outcomes for patients. Today, Instacart is available to 95% of U.S. households, including 93% of people living in food deserts. We partner with more than 1,100 national, regional and local retailer banners to offer online shopping, delivery and pickup from more than 80,000 stores across North America. And SNAP participants can use their benefits to shop online from more than 10,000 stores across 49 states and Washington D.C. on the Instacart platform.

We designed Instacart Health to deliver the ingredients for healthier living, and through our Instacart Health product suite for providers and work with leading providers like Boston Children’s Hospital, we’re helping to do just that.

To learn more about our new partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital and the Instacart Health products available to providers, you can read more in our press release here. Learn more about Instacart Health at www.instacart.com/company/health.

1No Kid Hungry. “Facts About Child Hunger in America.” https://www.nokidhungry.org/who-we-are/hunger-facts#:~:text=Yet%20it%20happens%20%2D%20every%20day,to%20lead%20a%20healthy%20life

2The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Strengthening national nutrition research: rationale and options for a new coordinated federal research effort and authority.” July 20, 2020. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/112/3/721/5873352

3PLOS Medicine. “Cardiometabolic disease costs associated with suboptimal diet in the United States: A cost analysis based on a microsimulation model.” December 17, 2019. https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002981

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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