On Monday, June 3, DC Greens’ Produce Rx Manager, Luisa Furstenberg-Beckman, spoke on a panel at the 2024 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, hosted by Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), in cooperation with National CACFP Forum.

The conference gathered hundreds of anti-hunger advocates across the country to learn legislative best practices, explore innovative advocacy methods, and form personal connections to help better fight hunger in their communities. During her presentation, Furstenberg-Beckman stressed the value of seeing federal food programs and Food Is Medicine as complementary to one another.

“I think there is a common misconception in the food access world that SNAP, WIC and [other] federal food access programs are at odds with Food Is Medicine interventions, and this could not be further from the truth,” Furstenberg-Beckman says. “SNAP and WIC are phenomenal programs that are crucial to the food access landscape. However, they are not health-specific preventive interventions. They are reactive interventions.”

Food Is Medicine interventions, on the other hand, have the power to be preventive. They are linked to the healthcare system, and often include other health services like nutrition counseling, doctors’ visits, medically tailored meals, and more.

“These programs do — and must — work in conjunction with each other to improve the health outcomes of the community members we reach.”

Furstenberg-Beckman joined fellow panelists R.J. Briscione and Gideon Adams, along with moderator Mollie Van Lieu for the “Addressing Hunger & Nourishing Health: Medicaid’s Journey into Food-As-Medicine and Community-Based Solutions” panel.

DC Greens is a proud leader in the Food Is Medicine movement. Our own produce prescription program, Produce Rx, was the 2024 recipient of the John Benjamin Nichols Award by the Medical Society of D.C.

Luisa and fellow panelists pose for a group photo at the 2024 National Anti Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
Large crowd listens to panelists at the 2024 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.