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Partnership Aims to Improve Health Through Food Boxes, Lifestyle Coaching

By January 21, 2021May 24th, 2021Health Care News

Eat good, feel good! The Food Bank Council of Michigan teamed up with South Michigan Food Bank and Grace Health to address food insecurity and encourage healthy lifestyles with the launch of the Grace Health Fresh Food Pharmacy in Battle Creek.

Grace Health serves over 30,000 patients in Calhoun county and surrounding areas. A federally-qualified health center, Grace Health is focused on meeting the health care needs of underserved people in the community. “We are honored to partner with Grace Health to improve the health and well-being of those in need in the Battle Creek community,” said Peter Vogel, CEO of the South Michigan Food Bank. “We know that we can demonstrate great impact by working together.”

Made possible by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, this six-month pilot program “prescribes” home-delivered healthy food boxes for Grace Health patients every two weeks. In addition, the program offers healthy lifestyle coaching, check-ins, and support for cooking and eating healthy foods.

Eligible patients include those who manage a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, that can improve with a healthy diet. They also must have difficulty accessing healthy food and have the ability and interest to cook fresh foods and attend coaching sessions.

“The Grace Health Fresh Food Pharmacy continues the great work of our food banks, in partnership with their community’s healthcare organizations, to address food security as a social determinant of health,” said Dr. Dawn Opel, director of research & strategic initiatives and general counsel of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “Working with our entire network, we seek to sustainably implement this food box prescription model in healthcare settings across the state.”

Enrollment begins in February with a fresh food mobile distribution kickoff event funded by the Consumers Energy Foundation at Grace Health (181 West Emmett Street in Battle Creek), on Jan. 28 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. This mobile food distribution is available to anyone in the community in need of food. Those interested in the food pharmacy program should contact Grace Health staff at 269-965-8866 who will connect them with a program intake coordinator.

For more information on the Food Bank Council of Michigan, visit


Founded in 1984, the Food Bank Council of Michigan was created to implement a unified strategy to address and alleviate hunger statewide. FBCM works with its regional food banks and over 2,800 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials, and other allies to make sure no Michigander goes without food. For more information about the Food Bank Council of Michigan, visit or call 517.485.1202.