Farmbox Takes Food as Medicine to the Next Level

Farmbox Takes Food as Medicine to the Next Level
Farmbox Direct was founded in 2014 to deliver fruits and vegetables to consumers

Subscription grocery delivery company Farmbox Direct has launched a health care program called FarmboxRX to further its commitment to wellness. FarmboxRX will partner with health insurers to deliver fruits and vegetables to underserved populations, such as the elderly, at no cost to them.

The first partnership for the subscription-based service is Vibra Health Plan in Pennsylvania, a division of Blue Cross Blue Shield. The rollout starts on Jan. 1, 2020, and will provide 2,700 free produce boxes per month to Vibra’s Medicare-enrolled members. FarmboxRX has also signed with two additional insurance providers for 2021, and plans to ship 250,000 boxes that year. 

“Our initial partnership with Vibra Health Plan will start a revolution in health care,” noted Ashley Tyrner, Farmbox Direct’s founder and CEO. “And as we expand our reach over the next few years, the goal is to address and solve the underlying issue for people with diet-related chronic illnesses, which is as simple as changing their nutrition.”

According to New York-based Farmbox, this is the first time that an insurance company in America has undertaken a complimentary food delivery program for its members. Each box can be customized to a patient's specific health needs, and recipients will be educated on each fruit and vegetable included in the box and given recipe ideas.

The recipes come with some star power: They're from chef Sam Kass, previously a part of the White House and now on the Farmbox Direct board.

“The partnership between FarmboxRX and Vibra Health Plan is the future of health,” said Kass. “We are simply not eating enough fruit and vegetables, and this is especially true in low-income and rural communities where access to healthy food is severely limited. This partnership to bring basic nutrition to those that need it most will impact the lives of countless people, significantly improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.”

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