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UC Health Food is Medicine Program Receives Gift from Sam Hubbard Foundation

Sep. 7, 2022

CINCINNATI - A gift from the Sam Hubbard Foundation will help UC Health and The Freestore Foodbank support more individuals and families in our community who are suffering from food insecurity.


More than 2,000 people in Greater Cincinnati have received support this year through UC Health’s Food is Medicine program. In partnership with The Freestore Foodbank, the program supports individuals and families affected by food insecurity by providing free food, hygiene items and produce vouchers during visits to their primary care providers.

The Sam Hubbard Foundation has made an initial gift of $10,000 and has pledged recurring annual support to help sustain and expand the program to serve even more Greater Cincinnatians in need.

“As a native Cincinnatian and a Cincinnati Bengal, I have a deep love for my family, football and this community. I started the Sam Hubbard Foundation to serve and give back to a city that has done so much for me,” Hubbard said. “While Cincinnati is a great place to live, work and play, there are those among us who struggle daily to provide food for themselves and their families. I am proud that the Sam Hubbard Foundation is able to take direct action to help alleviate this problem.”

Hubbard also has a personal connection to UC Health and its mission to advance healing and reduce suffering: his mother, Amy, and sister, Madison, both work as nurses at UC Medical Center.

Food insecurity is a growing problem nationally and within our community—in the United States, 38 million people, including 12 million children, experience food insecurities. In the Cincinnati region, more than 270,000 households experience food insecurity.

UC Health’s Food is Medicine program screens patients for food insecurity during visits to their primary care provider. Those who need support can immediately access an in-office food pantry stocked with pantry staples and hygiene items, and they receive vouchers for fresh produce at Freestore Foodbank locations. The program is located at the UC Health Hoxworth Internal Medicine and Pediatric Clinic in Clifton.

“At UC Health, our mission is to advance healing and reduce suffering. Food insecurity directly impacts the health and well-being of our patients, particularly those with chronic health conditions. The UC Health Food is Medicine program eliminates barriers to food access and gives patients an important resource to help manage their health and wellness,” Melissa Martin, RN, clinical manager at the UC Health Hoxworth Internal Medicine and Pediatric Clinic in Clifton said.

The program was launched in June 2019 through a grant from the Anthem Foundation. At that time, UC Health aimed to help 500 patients. That goal was reached by September 2019, and need continued to rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UC Health Food is Medicine program has served 2,000 people so far this year, and the support of the Sam Hubbard Foundation will provide a sustained source of funding now and into the future.

“Here in the Tristate, more than 1 in 7 of our neighbors do not know where they will get their next meal – including more than 90,000 children. We are so appreciative of Sam’s continued commitment to fighting hunger in our community through the Sam Hubbard Foundation’s investment in the Food is Medicine program. Families know and trust UC Health with their healthcare, and this is a way to reduce barriers to put nutritious food on their tables,” said Trisha Rayner, Chief Development & External Affairs Officer for Freestore Foodbank.

Anyone interested in donating to the Food is Medicine program is encouraged to email Tamara Lang, Senior Director, Community Relations at UC Health, at tamara.lang@uchealth.com.