Vitamin Angels and Walgreens are expanding their prenatal pilot program to nearly 400 Walgreens stores nationwide, including a direct shipping option in certain markets. The program provides free prenatal vitamins and nutrition education materials to pregnant people in underserved communities through participating Walgreens pharmacies.
The prenatal vitamin pilot program was originally launched in 2021 in select Walgreens stores across the South Side and West Side of Chicago and has reached over 1,200 pregnant people to date. The expansion will bring the program to 12 additional markets across the United States. In addition, it will further test distribution methods to determine the most effective ways to reduce barriers to accessing prenatal vitamins for pregnant people in need.
"Health equity starts with access to essential nutrition, which is why we are thrilled to be expanding this innovative pilot program," said Colleen Delaney, Vitamin Angels technical director for U.S. Programs. "We are looking forward to reaching thousands more underserved pregnant people with the essential nutrients they need to have a healthy pregnancy."
[Read more; Walgreens raises $1.5M for Vitamin Angels support]
Today, there are approximately 1 million underserved pregnant people in the United States with limited to no access to prenatal vitamins due to socioeconomic disparities, including poverty, unemployment, lack of transportation and inadequate access to health services. Through this pilot expansion and Walgreens' ongoing support of Vitamin Angels' domestic prenatal program, Walgreens and Vitamin Angels are set to meet 50% of this unmet need (500,000 underserved pregnant people) in the United States annually by 2024.
"This one-of-a-kind prenatal pilot demonstrates our strategy to reimagine local healthcare and wellbeing for all. We recognize the support our trusted pharmacy teams can provide for our patients experiencing health disparities. Likewise, we recognize the positive impact a cross-functional focus can have on advancing equitable care, and have created this pilot through the invested collaboration of teams across our merchandizing, operations, strategy, marketing, ESG, pharmacy and healthcare businesses," said Dana Erf Fortman, director of health equity at Walgreens. "Increasing access to prenatal nutrition and education in underserved communities is crucial, which is why we are committed to addressing maternal health disparities through our partnership with Vitamin Angels."
[Read more: WBA marks Vitamin Angels milestone]
Since 2013, Walgreens has donated 1% of retail vitamin and supplement sales to Vitamin Angels. Their support was instrumental in building Vitamin Angels' domestic prenatal program, which reaches thousands of underserved pregnant people in need in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.