It’s impossible to get healthy without proper nutrition, but eating the right foods can be a challenge, especially for those living with HIV and other illnesses and who have unique nutritional needs. But eligible clients of Amida Care, a nonprofit community health plan in New York City, can now receive medically tailored meals thanks to a partnership with God’s Love We Deliver, an organization that has provided free meals and nutrition education to the HIV community for over 35 years.

The meals are covered by Medicaid under its “in lieu of services” initiative, which approves cost-effective, medically appropriate alternatives to regular Medicaid state services. This marks the first time such a meal program has been offered through Medicaid.

Under the program, Amida Care clients receive a nutritional assessment that takes into consideration their diagnoses, medications, side effects and other needs. A registered dietitian nutritionist will then design meals specifically for them. God’s Love We Deliver then provides the meals.

Learn more about the mission of God’s Love We Deliver in the “Food Is Medicine. Food Is Love” video below:

“Nutritious food is essential to better health outcomes and reducing health care expenses,” said Doug Wirth, president and CEO of Amida Care, in a press release about the new meals program. “It’s much harder for people to take their medications and make doctors’ appointments if they don’t know where their next meal will come from. A person can be fed for half a year for the cost of one day in a hospital.”

“We are thrilled to provide our delicious, medically tailored meals to Amida Care members,” added Karen Pearl, God’s Love We Deliver president and CEO. “We know that our meals will help improve their health and well-being by reducing stress and worry over what to eat for their specific medical circumstances and by improving access to healthy food that is delivered with love.”

In related news, Amida Care recently cohosted a webinar discussion about HIV and COVID-19 in New York and released a policy brief on the topic that included recommendations for public health agencies, health plan providers and individuals. For more details and to read the advice, see “How Will COVID-19 Impact New York’s Plan to End HIV? [VIDEO].” 

Learn more about Amida Care in the “I Belong Here” video below:

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