Request for Information (RFI): Food is Medicine Research Opportunities

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This Request for Information (RFI) invites input on research opportunities and best practices for Food is Medicine research programs.  These programs are part of a whole-of-government approach to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and reduce diet-related diseases and disparities. Review of this entire RFI notice is encouraged to ensure a comprehensive response is prepared and to have a full understanding of how your response will be used. 

Poor nutrition is one of the leading contributing factors of death and disability in the U.S. Indeed, millions of Americans are affected by food insecurity and diet-related diseases, including heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.  Besides the economic burden, the toll of hunger and these diseases disproportionately impact underserved communities, including NIH-designated populations that experience health disparities, people with disabilities, older adults, certain military families, and veterans.  Better integrating nutrition into health using Food is Medicine initiatives is a key component of the Biden-Harris Administration National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.

Food is Medicine is an umbrella term for a variety of activities and services that respond to the critical link between nutrition and health.  It does not have a technical, widely agreed upon definition.[i]  It has been referred to as having the following two components – (1) the provision of food that supports health and (2) a nexus to the health care system.1 The nexus to health care systems recognizes health care providers as a trusted source of information. Of people who report receiving dietary guidance from their health care provider, 78 percent of those that do receive such advice initiate dietary change. [ii]   Food is Medicine is not intended to replace the use of medications or other treatments but may be able to reduce the doses needed or allow medications to work more effectively.

Food is Medicine services and activities include but are not limited to: (1) medically tailored meals (MTMs), (2) medically tailored and healthy food packages or groceries (3) nutritious food referrals or vouchers, (4) prescriptions for nutritious groceries or produce, and (5) culinary medicine and teaching kitchen programs. 

Sustainable clinical-community partnerships may reinforce and act as an effective bridge between healthcare systems and patients to improve an individual’s dietary and lifestyle behaviors.  Indeed, evidence is mounting that Food is Medicine approaches are associated with meaningful improvements in food security, health biomarkers (e.g., body mass index, cardiometabolic parameters, hemoglobin A1C), insurance costs, and health quality indicators (e.g., hospital readmissions for the same diagnosis).

Responses to this RFI must be uploaded using the online form at this URL:

Answer fields are available for each question.  Text can either be directly typed into these fields, or “cut and pasted” from another electronic document.  It is not necessary to address each question/item.  Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secrets, or sensitive information in your response.

Responses must be received by 11:59 pm (ET) on June 30, 2023.





Community Outreach and Engagement
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

June 30, 2023