Press release

The Pfizer Foundation, American Diabetes Association Partner to Bring Healthy Food and Diabetes Support to Underserved Community to Address Health Inequities

March 25, 2021 | Arlington, Virginia

Social Determinants of Health grant will provide community gardens and diabetes support to people in low-income areas in Alabama

The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) and The Pfizer Foundation have joined forces to address food insecurity and high rates of diabetes in communities in  Montgomery, Alabama. The Foundation grant is part of ADA’s Health Equity Now national platform to ensure that all people living with diabetes, and the millions of underserved Americans who are at greatest risk for diabetes, have equal access to resources that they require not just to survive, but to thrive.

The ADA will work with local community partners including the Communities Improvement Association, Inc. and Living Well Associates, Inc., to develop a 10-acre community garden to provide increased access to seasonal fruits and vegetables to over 1,000 residents of Montgomery County, Alabama. In addition, the ADA and local partners will deliver diabetes support programs and resources to the community to provide health education to individuals with and/or at risk for type 2 diabetes.

“The ADA Community Impact program strives to reduce food insecurity and combat diabetes by providing affordable foods to a low-income, low-access community,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the ADA. “While we are targeting those with diabetes who are experiencing food insecurity, our program will impact all of Montgomery by increasing their access to healthy foods and initiating environmental changes that address social determinants of health.” 

The inability to afford or access healthy foods has serious implications for people with diabetes and prediabetes. With limited income, individuals may be forced to make difficult choices when purchasing food or necessary medications. In fact, the risk for type 2 diabetes is increased twofold and has been associated with low adherence to taking medications appropriately and recommended self-care behaviors, diabetes distress, and worse glycemic control when compared with individuals who are food secure. 

Montgomery, AL is a predominantly low-income, Black/African American community with nearly 21% of the individuals having incomes below the poverty level. Moreover, many residents have limited access to healthy food options, particularly in rural areas. Feeding America estimates that roughly 21% of the residents in Montgomery County are food insecure. Further, the uneven distribution of supermarkets in Alabama leaves a disproportionate number of lower-income families without access to nutritious foods. Not surprisingly, Alabama is plagued by a high rate of diabetes (13.2%) and a high rate of obesity (40.8%), which is associated with diabetes.

Funding support for this program comes from The Pfizer Foundation. The Pfizer Foundation Social Determinants of Health Grant (SDOH) program seeks to support organizations that employ a health-systems strengthening approach to address leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Black communities in the United States. 

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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).

About The Pfizer Foundation
The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions. The Foundation’s mission is to promote access to quality healthcare, to nurture innovation, and to support the community involvement of Pfizer colleagues.

The Pfizer Foundation provides funding and resources to address the challenges of the evolving global health complex. This Foundation supports all types of programs that nurture science and innovation, reduce the threat of disease, strengthen healthcare capacity, ensure access to quality care, address immediate disaster and humanitarian health needs, and enhance the community involvement of Pfizer colleagues.