Food insecurity during pregnancy has significant long-term health impacts on moms and babies. Mothers have greater risk of chronic conditions and complications during pregnancy, and infants are more likely to be born early and underweight.

The Nourishing Healthy Starts program provides pregnant moms and their families with weekly fresh produce and grocery boxes, cooking classes, safety net enrollment assistance, and connections to community and medical resources. Together, these benefits prevent many of the health effects and high costs caused by food insecurity during pregnancy, such as chronic conditions and complications for mothers and long stays in neonatal intensive care units for infants.

90% of babies born to mothers who participated in the Nourishing Healthy Starts pilot program were delivered at a healthy birth weight.

Fresh Food and Support

For Expectant Moms and Their Families

By providing nutrient-dense food, Fresh Rx is preventing many of the health effects and high costs caused by food insecurity during pregnancy. For example, Fresh Rx participants are less likely to have a low-birth-weight delivery compared to women enrolled in Medicaid in the St. Louis region. Deliveries for babies born underweight cost $44,000 more than babies delivered at a healthy weight. These infants are also at risk of being admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) which costs $76,000 on average per stay.


Fresh Rx: Nourishing Healthy Starts

Program Components

Fresh Rx connects pregnant women and their families with fresh, local foods and provides resources for a healthy household

Grocery and Produce Delivery

Weekly produce and grocery boxes deliver fresh, locally-grown produce, protein, dairy, and grains.

Culinary and Cooking Support

Cooking classes, tutorials, and problem-solving help families build skills and comfort in the kitchen.

Safety Net Enrollment Assistance

All participants receive assistance enrolling in public nutrition programs such as SNAP and WIC.

Comprehensive Case Management

Families receive help identifying and meeting their goals along with care coordination and connections to other community resources.

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