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Food Institute

Are you coping with a medical condition and have difficulty accessing or affording healthy food? The Independence Health System’s Food Institute at Butler Memorial Hospital and Clarion Hospital can help! The Food Institute is the first of its kind in the Butler and Clarion region and was established to give everyone a way to stay healthy by learning about and eating healthier foods.

The Food Institute specializes in healthy eating for the whole family, meal planning and preparing healthy recipes on a budget. During each monthly appointment, a nutrition lesson and ingredients and cooking instructions for 10 meals will be provided. Participants will also be linked to additional services to manage chronic disease through lifestyle coaching and community resources to improve overall health.

The Food Institute was created to make nutritious meals a reality for more families in the region. To learn more, call 724-284-4504.

Food Insecurity Has Health Implications

Communities with the highest rates of food insecurity face a higher prevalence for diseases and other measures that are tied to poor health.

Defining Food Insecurity:

  • Disruption of food intake because of lack of money or other resources
  • May be short term or long term
  • Risk increases when money to buy food is limited or not available
  • Neighborhood conditions may affect food insecurity
  • Adults who are food insecure are at increased risk for obesity and other negative health outcomes and health disparities

Referenced from

How it Works

  • Your doctor provides a referral for the Food Institute.
  • Referral includes one monthly visit for four months.
  • Each monthly visit lasts about 45 minutes where you will:
    • Receive a nutrition lesson
    • Learn healthy eating on a budget
    • Leave with nutritious food and recipes for up to 10 meals


Hear from local community members about how the Food Institute has helped them to become healthier, more aware of their nutritional needs and how to meet them.

The Food Institute relies heavily on philanthropy and grants as funding sources. Please consider donating to support this vital work. The greatest areas of need are listed below:

Food: Food Institute clients are provided a healthy food share at each monthly visit that provides 10 meals for a family of 4.

  • $75 for initial food share for 10 healthy meals plus items to stock the pantry
  • $50 for follow up food share for 10 healthy meals

Utensils: Many families do not have basic utensils for food preparation. Utensils are distributed based on need. An Amazon wish list is set up to help make these available.

  • $25 for peeler, cutting board, meat thermometer and kitchen shears
  • $50 for one set of pots and pans, instant pot, or crock pot

Education materials: Clients are provided nutrition and lifestyle education as a way to gain control of their health. Printed materials are part of the Food Institute and Lifestyle Coaching curriculum:

  • $100 for 15 Food Institute education booklets
  • $75 for 10 Diabetes Lifestyle Coaching booklets
  • $50 for 10 Lifestyle Coaching Weight Management or Heart Healthy Seminar packets

Other: Please donate any amount and your money will be used for greatest need:

To order items from the Amazon Wish List, click here.

To make a monetary donation in support of the
Food Institute, click here.

Your generous donation will allow the Food Institute to continue its mission in Butler and Clarion Counties and beyond.

Donate now


IHS Food Institute 2024Sponsors 4-24

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