COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s hunger action month and all of September we are taking a look at how organizations are working to feed their neighbors across central Ohio.

One agency is taking that a step further — by utilizing nutritional food as medicine. NBC4’s Cierra Johnson took a look at the program.

A series of life events landed mom Cara Cox in a place she never expected.

“I found my way to Mid-Ohio Food Bank when I found myself on a path I wasn’t expecting,” said Cox. “I really didn’t ever expect to be in a spot where I needed help.”

She found herself needing just a little extra help to make it through the month and provide for herself and her son, all while tasked with keeping herself healthy.

“I was recommended to come to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and I’m so glad to find this place because it has really helped my life,” said Cox.

In counties across the state of Ohio, Mid-Ohio Food Collective is simply known as a food resource, but for thousands of clients that food resource is utilized in another, more intentional manner.

Amy Headings, Director of Research and Nutrition for Mid-Ohio Food Collective, says since its inception, more than 30,000 people have been referred to the program. Those referred are working to take control of their health and better manage conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

“We help to connect health care providers and patients to fresh food in the communities where they live in order to help families really manage whatever chronic conditions they have,” said Headings.

Utilizing the fresh foods and produce as medicine — think of it as a pharmacy of sorts — that is, pharmacy with an “F.”

“A recent study that came out that said produce prescription programs like the Mid-Ohio Farmacy Program could save about $40 billion in healthcare costs,” said Headings. “Fresh food access is really the first thing in helping people improve their health, so that’s really the core value of the Mid-Ohio Farmacy Program.”

And it’s a program that is creating results. Not only does Cara Cox have a place to turn for food, she has food — healthy food that has helped her transform her life and manage her diabetes.

“With eating the better food and having my sugar down lower I definitely have more energy, I feel better and more alert, I’m able to get more things done now — it’s really been a good thing in my life,” said Cox.