On March 28, 2023, a delegation from Los Angeles-based nonprofit Project Angel Food, led by CEO Richard Ayoub, joined other like-minded agencies from across the country to meet with congressional policymakers to advocate for increased access to Medically Tailored Meals to improve health outcomes for seriously ill Americans while reducing health care costs.

Ayoub was joined by Benjamin Martin, Project Angel Food’s associate director of client services and programs, Alyssa Baldino, MPH, RD, Associate Director of Nutrition Services and Therapeutics, and John Gile of John Gile, Inc., a former CEO of Project Angel Food. While there, Project Angel food met Senator Alex Padilla and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s offices, as well as Representatives Adam Schiff, CA 30, Ted Lieu, CA 36, Judy Chu, CA 28, Jimmy Gomez, CA 34, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove, CA 37.

Ayoub exclaimed, “We are literally working the halls of congress, having conversations with everyone from Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Corey Booker and others as we make our way to and from our scheduled office meetings. I think they get it — Medically Tailored Meals need to be a priority in our nation’s fight for improved health for everyone no matter what your race, age or illness.”

Food Is Medicine Coalition Executive Director Alissa Wassung added, “Medically Tailored Meals are one of the least expensive and most effective ways to improve our health care system in an equitable way for all.”

Project Angel Food was on Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers so they could build on the work Project Angel Food and 34 other FIMC agencies have done to lower health care costs, reduce inpatient hospital admissions and emergency room visits, and to improve health outcomes among Medically Tailored Meal recipients.

Ayoub and the team challenged members of the senate and the house to support these efforts with three initiatives:

  • Pass Medically Tailored Meal legislation to establish widespread coverage needed to ensure equitable access to these critical services across the U.S. and change health care policy to fund, deliver and explicitly evaluate the MTM intervention in Medicare and Medicaid
  • Receive federal investment to support the National Institute of Health’s Office of Nutrition's work on Food Is Medicine interventions, expanding to programs to ensure access to the critical services provided by Project Angel Food and others
  • Expand and diversify nutrition supports in the 2023 Farm Bill in a manner that improves the nation’s health outcomes and financial interests. This could occur through boosting access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), scaling investments that provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables through GusNIP, and enhancing consumer awareness about nutritious and healthy foods through SNAP-ED

The Food Is Medicine Coalition is a national coalition of nonprofits focused on the intersection of nutrition and health care, delivering Medically Tailored Meals (MTMs) and medically tailored groceries, nutrition counseling and education, and medical nutrition therapy to people in communities across the country living with severe, chronic and diet-related illnesses.

Project Angel Food was a founding member of the Coalition and was established in 1989 in response to the AIDS Crisis. Project Angel Food currently serves more than 4,000 seriously ill Angelenos each year and delivers a record-breaking 1.5 million Medically Tailored Meals each year.



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