Primary Care and Food Bank Collaboration to Address Food Insecurity: A Pilot Randomized Trial

Robert L. Ferrer, Luz Myriam Neira, Gualberto L. De Leon Garcia, Kristin Cuellar, Jasmine Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Food insecurity is common in the United States and linked to poor control of conditions influenced by diet. We conducted a pilot randomized trial to test whether a novel partnership between a primary care practice and a municipal food bank would improve control of type 2 diabetes among patients with food insecurity. Participants received food bank produce delivered twice monthly to the practice site, brief teaching from a food bank dietitian, and home-based education from a community health worker. After 6 months, glycosylated hemoglobin decreased (absolute change) by 3.1% in the intervention group vs 1.7% in the control group (P =.012). Scores on Starting the Conversation–Diet, a brief dietary measure, improved in the intervention group by 2.47 on a 14-point scale (P <.001). Body mass indexes (BMIs) were unchanged. In this early-stage study, onsite collaboration between primary care and a regional food bank generated clinically meaningful reductions in HbA1c and improvements in diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNutrition and Metabolic Insights
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Food insecurity
  • diabetes mellitus
  • primary health care
  • type 2
  • vulnerable populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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