The NOURISH Movement Jumpstart Guide

Welcome to the NOURISH Jumpstart Guide — a tool for employers and their partners to launch Food is Medicine programs. Whether you are searching for your why or seeking to learn from examples out in the world today, this is the place to start your journey.

The Case for Action

At The NOURISH Movement, we believe food is medicine. What we mean by that is that nutritious food, especially when combined with a health-promoting lifestyle, can promote health, prevent chronic conditions and improve healthcare outcomes. The evidence supporting these beliefs is well-founded and growing daily.

If we want to impact change at scale through Food is Medicine, we need to impact populations. Therefore, we believe the case for employers to act is very clear.


of all working-age adults
have 1+ chronic conditions


sick days due to
poor health


in lost productivity
due to poor health


low-wage earners
pushed into poverty

So where should leaders begin, and what factors should they consider when determining where and how to get involved in the Food is Medicine Movement?

This guide will take you through the journey by walking you through what to consider for each of the 6 key factors.




Employers need to clearly identify why they are embarking on this journey and what they hope to achieve.
Improving the overall health and wellbeing of employees and their families
Reducing healthcare costs and improving health outcomes for employees with diet-related chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease and others
Addressing food insecurity and improving access to healthy food options in underserved communities


Business Case


Employers need to determine the outcomes they are trying to achieve and how they will measure success.
Are you trying to address general wellness and morale that may lead to higher employee satisfaction and productivity?
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee productivity
  • Employee morale and/or satisfaction
  • Social determinants of health (SDoH) measures
  • Family member health and wellbeing
Are you trying to reduce the costs and financial impact of chronic illness and obesity?
  • Prevalence of chronic illness
  • Direct healthcare costs (claims cost / medical loss ratios)
  • Indicators such as sick days, preventative screenings, medication adherence, improved biomarkers (e.g., A1C)
  • Program ROI from investment in food as medicine efforts
Are you looking to reduce food insecurity and improve healthy food access in communities in which you operate — beyond the workplace — for employees, families and community members? Are you looking to find ways of delivering on the social (S) aspects of your ESG commitments, leveraging nutrition and food innovations?


Target Population


Envision consumers — including employees, families and communities — as the first mile of innovation rather than the last mile of distribution.


Work Style
  • On-premise: Are you looking to impact employees through on-site nutrition education, healthy food access, re-imaging the workplace as a hub for healthy food access?
  • Off-site (virtual): Are you looking to impact off-premise choices through better access to nutritious foods in the community, directly or through partnerships with retailers, distributors, e-commerce providers and through healthy food incentives?
  • Flexible (hybrid): Are you looking to innovate for both on/off premise and hybrid work, leveraging prepared meals, meal kits, food ordering programs, or the like?
  • Workforce age: For instance, are you dealing with an aging workforce?
  • Location: Are you looking to intervene in an urban or rural context?
  • Biological factors – e.g., prevalence of nutrition needs related to maternal health
  • Other factors such as education, technical literacy, family structure, etc.
  • Income level: What is the income distribution, how many are at-risk?
  • Ethnic and cultural diversity: How might that play into the design of approaches?
  • Other factors such as presence of immigrant/refugee populations in community
Community and Social Context
  • Local foodscape / food environment (e.g., access)
  • Family and social support systems
  • Strength of faith-based and community-based organizations (CBOs)
Health Factors
  • Prevalence of diet-related chronic conditions (e.g., obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, etc.)
  • Which condition(s) are most vital to intervene around, if the focus is on intervention vs. prevention or general wellness?
  • Wellbeing factors: social, emotional, etc.




Employers need to determine where they want to provide solutions to their employees and beyond.
Employee's Home
Solutions and education programs targeting nutrition and food at employees' homes and for their families should consider culture and race as well as locally-available food choices.




Employers need to determine which specific initiatives will make the most impact to the populations they are targeting.


Engaging and Empowering Consumers
Improving Access, Sourcing and Distribution
Simplifying Choice and Improving Affordability
Food as Benefit Programs
  • Healthy food prescriptions: the Good Food Prescription Programs combines Good Measures, Instacart Care Carts, and WellCare for commercial health plans and employer groups
  • Healthcare intervention and clinical management solutions using nutrition counseling, coaching and food as medicine like Season Health; and those like Rfoodx that offer medically tailored meal programs
  • Marketplaces (Bitewell) and benefit management platforms (Foodsmart, Tangelo)
  • Platforms enabling employers to reimburse employees for range of health, wellness and food benefits: Joon
Influence and Impact Community-Level Change




Employers need to clearly identify why they are embarking on this journey and what they hope to achieve.
Producers, local farmers, food distributors, restaurants, food service companies and retailers
Healthcare systems, nutritionists, dietitians and community organizations
Tools and platforms to source food, track progress, offer nutritional guidance and facilitate communication between employers and employees
Insurance providers, foundations and government grants

Where We See Opportunity

Incentivizing and Funding
Food Interventions
Using the power of private market incentives and payments — and in the future, novel insurance benefits — to shift diets on a broader scale toward healthy foods
Employer as Hub,
Shifting Workforce
Re-imagining the role of corporation physical space as a hub for community and engagement around healthy food access and food is medicine
Connecting Care,
Powering Choice
Leveraging technology as well funding to meet consumers where they are and empower everyday healthy choices. Connect healthcare with food care, across channels and DTC
Catalyzing Community
Health Transformation
Leveraging the influence of large employers with influential role in local communities to drive community-based nutrition and food is medicine efforts
Local Coalitions
Uniting disconnected stakeholders, and breaking through business models and paradigms to find common ground around challenges solving
Ready to take
Send the NOURISH team a note at to find out how we can help you on the next step of your journey