Geisinger Fresh Food Farmacy

Project Summary: 

The researchers are investigating the effects of an innovative program, Geisinger's Fresh Food Farmacy (FFF), that "prescribes" healthy food to food-insecure diabetics and their families. Each week, participants fill their prescription at a local clinic where they receive healthy food for two meals per day over five days for everyone in their household. Participants also receive education on diabetes self-management and information about nutrition and healthy diets. This project is the first relatively large randomized controlled experiment of a food-as-medicine approach. Findings from the study will directly inform expansion of the program elsewhere in the Geisinger network and may lead to its adoption by other health systems and insurers. The study will also contribute information about the effectiveness of the program on patients, spillover effects on household members and the effects of participation on other types of wellness care.

Registered on Open Science Framework:


Health: Blood sugar control measured by HbA1c, fasting glucose, triglycerides, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, and cholesterol

Other: Health care utilization (ED visits, inpatient care, and outpatient visits)


Access to the FFF program is randomized with participants enrolling in the FFF program at the start of their trial involvement (treatment group) or beginning the program approximately six months later (waitlist control group) with rolling admissions over the following year. The researchers are estimating intent-to-treat models using Ordinary Least Squares regression.

Principal Investigators: 

John Bulger, DO, MBA

Grant Start Date: 
June 2019
Award Amount & Duration: 

$ 261,816 & 36 months