By Nancy Dahlberg
DeliverLean, one of South Florida’s largest food manufacturers specializing in health and wellness, agreed to be acquired by NationsBenefits of Fort Lauderdale, a provider of supplemental benefits, flex cards and member engagement solutions for health plans.
Founded in 2011 by Scott Harris, DeliverLean today produces over 10 million healthy meals annually from its 65,000-square-foot commercial manufacturing facility. The Hollywood-based company operates two divisions: DeliverLean CARE, a specialized manufacturer of fresh, prepared meals designed to meet the unique dietary needs of seniors, and GRBNGO, a pre-packaged grab-and-go food service solution catering to airports, hotels, hospitals, schools, convention centers and stadiums, delivering throughout the southeast.
“After a decade-long journey, DeliverLean is thrilled to announce our acquisition by NationsBenefits, a premier healthcare provider who shares our food as medicine approach. It’s unique for a healthcare provider to invest in a food company to ultimately improve outcomes and lower health care costs by empowering people through fresh, healthy food,” said Harris, DeliverLean’s CEO, in a statement. “NationsBenefits’ model of centralizing benefits allows us to serve health plan members nationally.”
Harris will continue to lead the company as a division of NationsBenefits. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; the transaction is expected to close in September.
Harris is one of region’s most innovative food entrepreneurs. Throughout his entrepreneurial journey, Harris has focused on bridging the gap between eating well and meaningful health outcomes. DeliverLean started out as a healthy gourmet meal delivery service for consumers — one of the early entrants to that market — then took the service to businesses. In 2015, Harris was selected as one of the first Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected out of the Miami area.
In recent years, DeliverLean CARE partnered with health insurance providers to deliver meals to individuals through Medicare Advantage programs and directly to consumers, giving members access to healthy post-discharge and chronic care meals that lead to an improved quality of life and continued independence at home. Today, DeliverLean has scaled into a South Florida food manufacturing giant with 300-plus employees.
Giving back was always part of the journey. During the pandemic, DeliverLean partnered with NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning [pictured above with Harris] and the Overtown Youth Center to provide free meals to kids and families in need. “In communities where our programs are located, the average income is less than $35,000 per family and over 70% of children are raised by single parents. We are extremely grateful to thought leaders like DeliverLean and Scott Harris who have committed to providing thousands of meals to the Overtown Youth Center and Honey Shine during this global crisis,” Mourning said then.
During the pandemic, DeliverLean also worked with the Overtown Youth Center to offer jobs to people at DeliverLean’s Hollywood facility. What’s more, the company was tapped by Miami-Dade County to deliver free meals to senior citizens because senior activity centers were closed during the pandemic. DeliverLean and Miami-based BlueGlacier, one of Chile’s largest salmon importers, joined forces to put together 2,000 healthy meals using fresh Chilean salmon to help those in need.
This acquisition is part of NationsBenefits’ strategic vision to expand its healthy foods benefit offering to meet the growing needs of health plans with Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans. DeliverLean’s food as medicine solution, which will be introduced with the NationsMarket brand name, will help Medicare Advantage plan members and low-income populations to live healthier by addressing nutrition and providing specific and actionable direction to motivate behavioral changes in their diets, according to NationsBenefits.
“The DeliverLean team has created the best healthy, prepared meals solution in the market,” said Dr. Glenn M. Parker, founder and CEO of NationsBenefits. “By joining forces and expanding our healthy foods suite of solutions, this enhances our strategy of using supplemental benefits to improve member outcomes.”
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at [email protected]
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