Policy in Plainer English

Medically Tailored Meals

February 24, 2021 Helen Labun Season 3 Episode 8
Policy in Plainer English
Medically Tailored Meals
Show Notes

This episode we welcome David Waters, CEO of Community Servings, to our show. Community Servings is a Massachusetts-based Medically Tailored Meals (MTM) program that is also a leader in the national Food is Medicine Coalition.

Community Servings was founded in 1990 to serve local Dorchester and Roxbury residents struggling with HIV / AIDS. It is now a regional organization serving 15 different meal plans to 2,300 patients at a time. You may have heard them mentioned in previous discussions not only for their role in MTMs, but also the Massachusetts State Food Plan.  You can access that plan from the Food is Medicine Massachusetts coalition

As referenced in this episode, there are a lot of resources out there on Medically Tailored Meals. Here are some highlights:

  • Definition of "Medically Tailored Meals" and guidelines.
  • FiMC Accelerator Program - a 12 month intensive program for creating and scaling new MTM projects.
  • Research on MTM impacts - examples from the FiMC research library, note that many programs are also doing intensive program evaluations with partners (for example, insurance payers) that aren't necessarily published. This may merit another episode for the data lovers in the crowd.
  • California Food is Medicine Coalition - Notable among the different MTM programs because California has a lot of projects going within a single state and they are working together to develop funding models and study impact. 
  • Examples of Nutrition Information - God's Love We Deliver, the NYC-based MTM program, has some great nutrition resources and fact sheets that show how they tailor meals for different medical conditions and food preferences. 
  • Where to find out about MTM work in Vermont - part of Bi-State's current Food in Health Care grant involves a consultant-led planning process to develop next steps for exploring MTMs in Vermont, look at this page for background information and look for new updates in late spring, 2021 when the project will be wrapping up its first stage.

Special thanks to Marydale DeBor of Fresh Advantage LLC who is working with Bi-State on our MTM project and helped arrange this interview.