Analysis of Fresh Connect Participant Characteristics and Cardholder Utilization


Fresh Connect, a “Food as Medicine” product of About Fresh, Inc., consists of a pre-paid, programmable debit card, a cloud-based cardholder success platform, and an analytic engine designed to illuminate the healthcare value of improved food access and nutritional security.  Healthcare and CBOs use the Fresh Connect program to increase the power of cardholders to purchase the nutrient dense foods they want and need to be healthy or better manage diet related disease. Nationally, About Fresh is positioning Fresh Connect as a tool to contain $100 Billion of avoidable healthcare costs attributed to food and nutritional insecurity. As of 2023, Fresh Connect has served over 5,500 people experiencing food insecurity and diet-related chronic conditions. About Fresh partnered with Dr. Ronit Ridberg and Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition to deepen its understanding of benefits utilization and shopping activity by Massachusetts Flexible Services patients participating in Fresh Connect, and to improve its ability to assess program performance in the future. 

Project Aims

Aim One

To determine overall program reach, including an overview of program/product rollout and participant reach between Fresh Connect launch in June 2020, through participants enrolled by December 2022.

Aim Two

To conduct detailed assessments of cardholder activity by participation category (e.g. newly enrolled, active, inactive & idle), sociodemographics, and other characteristics.

Aim Three

To provide recommendations for refined metrics for About Fresh/Fresh Connect platform data collection, organization, and analysis, as well as frequency and type of cardholder communications.

Aim Four

To draft a manuscript with key findings and recommendations to share learnings with the field.

Project Details

Principal investigators

Ronit Ridberg
Research Assistant Professor, Food is Medicine Institute, Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy

Dariush Mozaffarian

Director, Food is Medicine Institute, Distinguished Professor, Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Tufts Team

Julia Reedy Sharib

Senior Research Coordinator, Manager of Communications, Food is Medicine Institute, Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy


About Fresh, Inc.


2022 – 2023