Food insecurity during pregnancy can have long-term impacts on the health of mothers and infants.
MOMS & BABIES
Operation Food Search is partnering with Missouri’s Medicaid health plans to identify pregnant women experiencing food insecurity in the St. Louis region and refer them to Fresh Rx.
Meal kits are delivered each week featuring fresh, locally grown produce, protein, dairy, and grains.
Cooking classes, tutorials, and problem-solving help families build skills and comfort in the kitchen
All participants receive assistance enrolling in public nutrition programs such as SNAP and WIC.
Families receive help identifying and meeting their goals along with care coordination and connections to other community resources.
Fresh Rx: Nourishing Healthy Starts is preventing negative health effects and high costs that are caused by food insecurity during pregnancy.
We partnered with SSM Health DePaul Hospital OB Care Center to conduct a 24-month pilot study in the St. Louis region. Approximately 100 women have been enrolled and 75 babies have been delivered. Our results show that providing access to nutrition during pregnancy can improve health outcomes and save health care costs.
Improved Food Security
Food security increased by 44 percentage points.
Better Health & Wellbeing for Moms
Depressive symptoms decreased by 14 percentage points.
Healthy Babies Delivered
Fresh Rx’s low-birthweight rate is 5.3 percentage points lower than Medicaid in St. Louis City.5
Preventing low-birthweight deliveries has already saved $189,000 in healthcare costs during the Fresh Rx pilot.6
We recently launched a randomized control trial of the Fresh Rx program with all Medicaid health plans and the Social Policy Institute to measure the return on investment. Results will be used to help determine how Medicaid can promote food security and better birth outcomes for all Missouri families.