Transcript: How a ‘Farmacy’ helps create access to healthier food and nutrition education

Stacks of dry goods line long rows of shelving. A blue banner appears in the bottom-left of the screen with white text:

ONSCREEN TEXT:                                    D’Youville College
                                                                   Buffalo, New York

A red-haired woman speaks in a bright atrium before a set of snake plants. A blue banner identifies the speaker with white text:

ONSCREEN TEXT:                                    Megan Whelan
                                                                   D’Youville College
                                                                   Associate Dean, School of Health Professions

MEGAN WHELAN: This is really serving this west side community to improve their health through food. Because food is really medicine.

A hand opens a cooler full of frozen goods in plastic packaging. Now, a brunette woman speaks in the atrium:

ONSCREEN TEXT:                                    Laura Mongeon
                                                                   UnitedHealthcare
                                                                   Executive Director, New York Medicare & Retirement

LAURA MONGEON: We really like to go beyond medical care itself. And really look at that whole person. And it's so important to get that nutrition education, exercise education.

Now blue text appears against a white background:

ONSCREEN TEXT:                                    Catholic Health received a $400,000 UnitedHealthcare grant for a                                                                            Food Farmacy. The Farmacy provides access to healthy food and                                                                          nutrition education.  


The view pans the long, bright room full of dry goods and the cooler, along with a rack of canned goods. Now another red-haired woman speaks in the atrium:

ONSCREEN TEXT:                                    Elyse Burgher
                                                                   FeedMore WNY
                                                                   Nutrition Services Director


ELYSE BURGHER: We are so excited to be able to offer a food pantry that is located right on to D’Youville’s campus that will just create more food access to the community members of the west side.

A small sign hanging on a shelf reads “protein: go lean with protein” above a list: “beans and peas, nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs, lean meat & poultry, seafood.” A logo on the sign reads “MyPlate.gov.”

A blonde speaker appears in the atrium:


ONSCREEN TEXT:                                Joyce Markiewicz
                                                               Catholic Health
                                                               EVP & Chief Business Development Officer

JOYCE MARKIEWICZ: Someone that goes to the grocery store and comes home with canned soup, because it's easy: it's loaded with sodium. And it's just not the right thing for someone with congestive heart failure, diabetes to be eating. So part of what we really want to do is, first of all, provide fresh food, healthy food, but then teach people how to eat that food.

A brown paper bag appears, stuffed to the brim with produce: celery stalks, an orange, tomatoes and tomatillos, asparagus, a green pepper, a bunch of green onions, and a carrot.

Wearing a mask, Elyse opens another cooler in the Farmacy. A sign on the door reads “Apples, Potatoes, Onions, Eggs.” Two columns of shelves are stacked with the food items listed on the sign.

The view pans across a bright industrial community kitchen with four gas stoves and gleaming, stainless steel range hoods. Meghan Whelan speaks:

MEGHAN WHELAN: For example, nutrition counseling will be provided by a registered dietician. We'll have cooking classes and also just group classes so people can learn together. Our students also have the ability to work alongside the registered dietitian assisting any clients that come into the food pantry, and will also learn in this innovative way where they can conduct research and learn about how food is medicine.

Red KitchenAid mixers and matching kitchen utensils sit on each stainless steel counter in the kitchen. In the Farmacy, another sign hangs on a shelf reading “grains: make half your grains whole grains,” followed by a list: “bread, pasta, cereal, tortillas, quinoa, rice, oats” and the “MyPlate.gov” logo.

Wearing masks, Elyse and a group of women talk in the Farmacy. Now, Laura speaks:

LAURA MONGEON: People think of UnitedHealthcare is that national company. We're very local in many ways, and we really care about the community, support a lifestyle that people need out in the community, so they can make sure they make the proper food choices or health choices all together.

Stacks and stacks of canned soup and vegetables line the shelves of the Farmacy. A sign hangs on a shelf reading “fruits: focus on whole fruits,” followed by a list: “fresh, frozen, dried, 100% juice, packaged in water or 100% juice” and the “MyPlate.gov” logo. Meghan Whelan speaks:

MEGHAN WHELAN: This collaboration really meets our mission of serving the west side community and also serving our D’Youville students.

The appliances in the spotless test kitchen gleam along with wide-screen TVs over each work station. The view fades to a white background with the blue UnitedHealthcare logo: a U with three stripes on the right-hand. arm. The logo transforms into blue text:

ONSCREEN TEXT:                               UnitedHealthcare

 The view fades to black.