Meals on Wheels teams with Point32Health to support expectant mothers at Women & Infants Hospital

PROVIDENCE – Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island and Point32Health Services Inc. are collaborating to increase access to nutritious meals for pregnant women who are patients at Women & Infants Hospital.

“Health care providers understand the importance of nutrition for women during pregnancy and it is critical to find a way to meet families where they are – not only by addressing cost barriers but also hurdles of transportation or even cultural dietary needs,” said Michele Wolfsberg, director of clinical strategy for commercial products at Point32Health. Our program with Meals on Wheels of RI and Women & Infants has helped to provide thousands of healthy meals to households in Rhode Island to support maternal wellness and healthy baby development.”

Launched in 2022, the program is funded by Point32Health, which is the parent company of Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. The program uses clinical social workers at Women & Infants to identify patients who could benefit from no-cost, weekly home-delivered meals. The initiative is meant to support expecting mothers with high-risk prenatal medical conditions such as gestational diabetes and whose income may be a barrier to accessing consistent nutritious meals.

“Providing healthy, nourishing food is essential to help close the gap in health disparities and improve outcomes for pregnant and postpartum mothers. The simple act of delivering a meal can change the lives of vulnerable members of our community,” said Dr. Methodius G. Tuuli, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and executive chief of obstetrics and gynecology for Care New England Health System.

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The program provides weekly delivered meals to each participant and their household for the duration of their pregnancy, along with a weekly meal for two weeks during the postpartum period. There are also designated Latin, Asian and Kosher menus available.

“Meals on Wheels of RI is proud to collaborate on this expansion of our ‘More Than A Meal’ model, which aligns with our 2025 strategic plan,” said Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island Executive Director Meghan Grady. “We are very pleased with the results to date and grateful for the important opportunity to serve this in-need population.”

In a survey, 100% of the respondents reported enjoying the food and that the meals made them feel healthier. More than half of the respondents also reported using Women, Infants, & Children Nutrition Program information included with the meal deliveries.

Katie Castellani is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Castellani@PBN.com