A Meals On Wheels meal, delivered in Sarasota, Florida. - Roger W/Flickr

A Meals On Wheels meal, delivered in Sarasota, Florida.Roger W/Flickr

June 5, 2018

New Program Provides Meals To Hoosiers Living With HIV

Article origination IPBS-RJC

A new state program will deliver medically-tailored meals to those living with HIV. The Ryan’s Meals for Life project is funded by a $1 million grant from the Indiana State Department of Health. 

Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana project manager Nick Fennig says the meals program aims to reach more than 2,500 people in Indiana.

"As far as we know, it’s the first statewide pilot of its kind in the country to serve medically-tailored meals to persons living with HIV across the state," says Fennig. 

READ MORE: Program Provides Cancer Patients With Medically-Tailored Meals

The healthy meals will be prepared at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis, shipped across the state and delivered to people with HIV.

Mark Schwering with the Indiana State Department of Health says much of this population is low-income.

"If we can keep them nutritionally sustained then they are not having to make decisions between medication and food," says Schwering. 

Fenning says more than 12,000 Hoosiers live with HIV and more than half of them are low-income.

"Being more food-secure helps them in many parts of their lives, mental and physical," says Fennig. "And to have more money to pay bills and other medical expenses."

A healthy diet can also improve medication outcomes and mental health.

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