Food is Medicine Advocacy Day
April 10, 2024



About the Event

On April 10, 2024, nearly 90 attendees from at least 18 states gathered in Washington D.C. for the first-ever multi-sector Food is Medicine Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Food is medicine (FIM)—the integration of food-based nutritional interventions such as medically-tailored meals, produce prescriptions, and medically-tailored groceries into healthcare to manage and prevent disease—can play a critical role in addressing the growing disease burdens, costs, and inequities in diet-related illnesses in communities across the nation.

Participants representing multiple sectors and perspectives (patients, physicians, registered dietitians, retailers, food producers, meal providers, food banks, healthcare and life insurers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropists) formed 12 meeting groups and spent the day conducting a combined total of nearly 75 visits with Congressional offices.

The purpose of the visits was to educate about the power of food is medicine to transform health, improve the way our nation prevents and treats diet-related diseases, and drive health equity across the country. A key point was that a focus on nutrition is largely missing from the health care system, contributing to the rising disease burdens, costs, and inequities in diet-related illnesses in recent decades. Food is Medicine can address these growing burdens, but sustained investment in FIM interventions is needed to build a stronger evidence base for effectiveness and impact on health outcomes, which can better inform policy and program decisions.

Some attendees also discussed specific bills and topics, such as:

• H.R. 6780/S. 2133: Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Act
• H.R. 4856: GusNIP Expansion Act of 2023 and S. 2577: GusNIP Improvement Act of 2023
• H.R. 6407/S.3297: Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 2023
• Nutrition in medical education and training
• Federal investment in nutrition and food is medicine research, including through NIH Food is Medicine Networks or Centers of Excellence
• Pilot programs through the Indian Health Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs

Overall, the concept and potential for Food is Medicine was well-received by both Democratic and Republican offices and leaders in the House and Senate.

The day concluded with a Food is Medicine Congressional Reception for attendees and members of Congress and their staff. Remarks were delivered by Congressional champions Representative Jim McGovern, Representative Chellie Pingree, and Representative Rosa DeLauro. They acknowledged the challenging Congressional environment and urged the community to continue pushing ahead to advance federal investment in nutrition, food is medicine, and health equity. It was encouraging to hear their perspectives on the traction that Food is Medicine has gained and inspiring to have them spur on the community to continue and build on the momentum.


The Food is Medicine Advocacy Day was proudly organized by the following collaborators and partners:

  • American Heart Association
  • Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
  • Food is Medicine Institute at Tufts University
  • Hunger-Free America
  • Instacart
  • John Hancock
  • National Produce Prescription Collaborative
  • Pennington Biomedical Research Center