Innovation and partnerships are two keys in unlocking tough issues. Just this month, a new partnership was born that elevates both the need for access to healthy, affordable foods and at the same time overcomes both education and access barriers.
DC Greens launched Produce Rx in partnership with Giant Food, AmeriHealth Caritas DC, and DC Department of Health. Produce Rx is designed to integrate healthy food access into the healthcare system, and to strengthen clinical tools for addressing patients’ needs. The innovative produce prescription program allows medical professionals to prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables to patients who receive Medicaid benefits through AmeriHealth Caritas DC and who are experiencing diet-related chronic illnesses, while offering clinics additional support for patients living in poverty. These patients can fill their prescriptions at the Giant in-store pharmacy. After filling their prescriptions, participating patients receive a $20 coupon per week to spend on produce.
The cross-sector partnership provides convenience for patients by having Giant as a one-stop shop for pharmacy, nutrition services, and grocery, and provides the potential to scale the program to more patients in the future.
In addition, participants also receive wrap-around nutrition education from AmeriHealth Caritas, seasonal ingredient one-pagers, and store-tours from Giant’s in-store nutritionist. The health education component of the program helps participants better capitalize on the increased access to healthy foods.
The pilot program, which will run until December 31, 2019, includes 500 initial patients with hopes of expansion in the future. By increasing access to healthy foods and health education, the Produce Rx program aims to achieve health equity in the D.C. community.
Learn more about DC Greens and join the Voices Action Team here!