Food as Health—one of the four interconnected pillars that serve as the foundation for Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation’s work—addresses food insecurity, food access and offers nutritional knowledge and education.

Across Greater Houston, 38% of our neighbors live in a food desert (43% of Harris County residents), meaning they do not have access to healthy, nutritious food within one-half mile of their homes. These families must weigh the costs of traveling to buy healthy food further away from homes or purchasing accessible, likely less nourishing food nearby.

Inadequate access to healthy food and lack of nutritional knowledge can have a direct link to obesity and chronic diseases for individuals of all ages and can negatively affect children’s and adolescents’ behavioral health and academic performance. Memorial Hermann’s Food as Health programs aim to bridge the gap between food access, nutritional awareness and culturally sensitive dietary education.

Clark Park Community Garden Grand Opening

Clark Park StepHealthy Hilda's Story

Culture of Food Health

By enhancing green spaces and creating nutrition hubs, community members can attend nutrition education classes, agriculture and gardening workshops and work together for the success of community gardens. The first Culture of Food Health Hub is located at Clark Park in the Northline community. Garden education classes are available year-round and are aimed at cultivating thriving communities through gardening and access to healthy, local foods.

By working alongside partners such as Urban Harvest and Common Threads, individuals can receive free harvested items from the community garden and participate in cooking demonstrations of healthy, tasty meals. In addition, a monthly mobile farmers market provides community members additional healthy food choices. This market is a Double Up Food Bucks site, which allows customers to pay with their EBT/Lone Star cards and receive a free dollar of fresh produce for every EBT dollar spent.

For more information, contact Jorge Sanchez,

Food Rx

Students and families at our school-based Burbank Health Center and WAVE Health Center learn to manage their health and increase their understanding of wholesome nutrition, while reducing the financial stress of household grocery costs. Participants fill their Food Rx (prescription) with healthy options from the Houston Food Bank and learn to utilize their choices in creating balanced meals for the whole family.

Visit the Houston Food Bank for more Information.

Core Connections

Empowering participants to actively embrace healthy choices, this eight-week health and wellness educational program aims to break cycles that prevent successful management of chronic conditions. Participants learn how to make constructive, healthy and economical choices, thereby improving their family’s health, reducing the likelihood of chronic health conditions, positively impacting the behavior and achievement rates of their children, and improving their overall quality of life.

Curriculum topics include creating action plans, how to improve habits or behaviors, nutritional facts, stress management through exercise and meditation, and eating healthy on a budget. The program creates a safe environment for community members and clinical staff to have robust conversations and co-create solutions.

For more information, contact Jorge Sanchez,

Comida y Comunidad

Residents of Greater North Houston are invited to gather with their community the mornings of the third and fourth Saturdays of each month at the Wesley Community Center, 1235 Lorraine St., Houston, Texas 77009, for fellowship, food distribution, educational opportunities and referrals to additional social services. We invite residents of the Greater Houston area to volunteer each Saturday as we serve the needs of over 300 households within the Greater North Houston region.

For more information, contact Jorge Sanchez, program manager, at or visit Volunteer Houston to sign up for our bi-monthly volunteer events.

Community Resource Centers

Offering a one-stop shop for community members to get help signing up for health care and social services, the Memorial Hermann Community Resource Centers are located on the campuses of four Memorial Hermann Hospitals: Southwest, Greater Heights, Northeast and Southeast. Patients discharged from any of these hospitals are provided with basic food care packages to aid in their recoveries.

To learn more, visit our Community Resource Centers webpage

USDA SNAP Enrollment

Extending the food budgets of low-income families in our community, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) enables beneficiaries to purchase healthy food, reducing stress on household food budgets and fostering self-sufficiency. All Memorial Hermann programs provide access to Community Health Workers to assist individuals and families in enrolling for SNAP benefits.

Food Pharmacy – Coming Soon

We are excited to announce the future launch of Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital’s “Food and More Market” or “Mercado de Comida y Mas,” a new and innovative approach to how we care for patients and address food insecurity. This onsite grocery store will serve as a hub for nutritional knowledge and food access. Patients will have the opportunity to receive healthy food items, connect with a dietitian for consultations and visit with a Community Health Worker to assist with other social services. Our mission is to offer easy access to nutritional food and cooking demonstrations so that our patients leave with fresh, high-quality food items and a better understanding of how to self-manage their chronic conditions.


At Memorial Hermann, we are proud to partner with the following organizations to address food insecurity and food access, and to offer nutritional knowledge and education to our neighbors across Greater Houston.

Avenue CDC

Common Threads

Houston Food Bank

Houston Parks and Recreation

Urban Harvest

Wesley Community Center