We've all heard for a long time the saying that you are what you eat. We've also known for quite a while that eating unhealthy food leads to negative outcomes in people's lives.

There has been a program in the Empire State for quite a while to help people live healthier lives and have better food, now that program is being expanded to make it easier for people to improve their health.

While the New York State Food As Medicine program was officially launched in June 2022 as a coordinated effort to help improve health outcomes for people in New York State, it has been a practice of many health organizations like the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus as since 2002.

Currently, the program works by allowing a doctor to write a prescription for healthy food, just like they do for other pharmaceuticals, when the food would have a positive impact on someone's life. The person with the prescription would then go to a local farmers market or grocery store or utilize a food delivery service to have the food delivered.

As it stands today, fresh fruits and vegetables would be covered by Medicaid, with the hopes that regular medical insurance would begin to cover them in the near future.

The Food as Medicine workgroup, along with the WNY Food As Medicine Coalition, has been planning ways to expand this program as it has the potential to really make a difference for New Yorkers.

This is especially true in cities like Buffalo, where large swaths of the city are considered food deserts.

The program isn't up and running yet, but once it's going, we should hopefully see an improvement in people's health.

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