MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Currently, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, 1 in 7 individuals or 14% of residents are food insecure, according to Upper Peninsula Commission For Area Progress (UPCAP). In 2021, an effort to address this issue and improve health and wellness of residents throughout the region, resulted in the development and implementation of The Upper Peninsula Food As Medicine (UPFAM) program.

This large collaborative effort consists of 25 partner organizations and agencies throughout the region committed to the on-going coordination and support of this initiative. The program, generously funded by  the Superior Health Foundation of Marquette County, is based on a prescription for health model designed to address and improve food security of individuals that are at risk for or diagnosed with a chronic health condition, face economic barriers to food access and are 18 years of age or older.

Support for the program comes from Superior Health Foundation (SHF). In the fall of 2021, SHF awarded UPCAP a $644,776.73 grant over two years for their Food as Medicine program. In this conversation with SHF Executive Director, Jim LaJoie, we also spoke with Tammy Rosa, Nutrition Program Director for UPCAP about how the program works for individuals, supports local farms, and how communities can get involved to support each other. Watch or listen to the full video above.