Healthcare Initiatives A key part of Gleaner’s strategic plan is positively impacting the health & well-being of our communities – through the food we serve, nutrition education programming, and partnering with healthcare organizations.

"I was able to get more fresh veggies and items I wouldn’t normally be able to afford. My insulin is better now too!”

1 in 3 patients with chronic illness are unable to afford food, medications, or both. To help combat this, Gleaners Community Food Bank has made partnering with the healthcare industry an integral part of our strategic plan. Investing in strategic partnerships with healthcare enables us to reach food-insecure people we’ve never been able to reach before. And the impact of food security on any individual’s health and wellbeing is clear: having access to healthy, nutritious food is better for health outcomes.


To date, over 2,000 patients – including those managing various chronic disease, pregnant women and families with young children -  have received nutritious foods including fresh produce, through our various healthcare partnerships – improving food security and health outcomes.


This video by Feeding America illustrates the cycle of food insecurity and health, and how we can each be part of the solution.

In 2015, Feeding America conducted a 2-year randomized controlled research study of food bank interventions on outcomes for people living with type 2 diabetes. Gleaners was one of 3 participating food banks in the trial, titled “Feeding America Intervention Trial for Health – Diabetes Mellitus” (FAITH-DM). In many ways, this trial led to an increase in partnerships between healthcare organizations and food banks

Food insecurity can mean more than hunger - it is also linked to poor health outcomes:

Food Insecurity

Food banks and their network are a trusted resource and efficient way to get healthy food into the hands of food insecure people. Click here for more information about why healthcare and food bank partnerships are critical in Michigan.


Over the past 10 years, Gleaners’ has partnered in research studies and pilot programs with various healthcare organizations, aiming to examine the impact of food security on individuals’ overall health.

Most recently, in our longest standing partnership with Henry Ford Health System called Henry’s Groceries (launched in 2017), patients facing food insecurity received healthy, nutritious food delivered to their doorstep twice a month for one year.  In addition, patients received nutrition education in the form of handouts, healthy recipes, and the option to participate in group cooking & nutrition classes.  Overall, results showed improvements in food security as well as reductions in emergency department and inpatient hospital visits.

For more information on this partnership and outcomes, please see the following peer-reviewed journal publication: Community partnership to evaluate the feasibility of addressing food insecurity among adults patients in an urban healthcare system

The Gleaners’ team delivering fresh eggs and produce to a patient’s doorstep
The Gleaners’ team delivering fresh eggs and produce to a patient’s doorstep

In addition to Henry Ford Health System, key healthcare partners include Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center, Covenant Community Care, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital – Livingston, United Health Care, Project Well (now Nourished Rx). Through each of these partnerships, patients have received a combination of healthy foods paired with nutrition education.


Gleaners is grateful for funding support for this work, from the following partners: Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System, Feeding America.

For more information about Gleaners’ healthcare initiatives and partnerships, please reach out to Jessica Ramsay, Director of Wellness & Nutrition Education, at  We look forward to hearing from you!


For the majority of patients, Henry's Groceries helped to close the food security gap and improved healthcare utilization through reductions in emergency department visits and inpatient hospital admissions.

In addition to food, patients in our healthcare pilot programs are provided nutrition education in the form of recipes, handouts, and classes. Patients are asked for feedback about their experience with the program and needed adjustments are made in real time.


For food resources near you, please visit:

For nutrition education resources such as health recipes, cooking demonstration videos and more, visit: