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Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program
FVRx Program Overview
In partnership with Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Groundwork Lawrence runs a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program™ (FVRx). The program allows physicians at the Health Center to hand out scripts that their patients can then fill, free of charge, for fresh fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets.
Patients who are at risk of/have a diet-related disease, or suffer from malnutrition, can take part in the Veggie Prescription Program through the Health Center, one of three MA clinics awarded with Veggie Prescription Program funds from Wholesome Wave, CAVU, and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources.
2011 was the program pilot, and 1,222 individuals (581 adults and 541 children) were reached nationally. A few of the recorded impacts include:
- FVRx increases patient retention. 70.9% of FVRx patients who attended one health care visit returned for at least two more clinic visits, a larger proportion than is typically seen in clinical obesity programs in underserved populations.
- 66.2% of FVRx patients stated they increased their fruit and vegetable consumption a lot as a result of the program.
- FVRx generates new farmers market customers: 51.2% of FVRx families had never or rarely been to a farmers market.
- 1. Overweight and obese children and pregnant women are enrolled by their primary care provider as FVRx participants.
2. A primary care provider and a nutritionist meet with participants and their families each month to reinforce the importance of healthy eating.
3. The provider distributes FVRx prescriptions during the visit and assesses fruit and vegetable consumption, weight and BMI.
4. Prescription represents 1 serving of produce per day for each patient and each family member, equal to $1/day; e.g. a family of 4 would receive $28 per week.
5. The prescriptions can be redeemed weekly for fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers market(s) throughout the 4-6 month program.
6. Participants return to their health center monthly to refill their FVRx prescription, set new self-management goals for health eating and have their health metrics recorded.
Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program 2011 Overview
Produce by Perscription | FVRx in the News (NY Times 8/12/10)
For more information about the Veggie Perscription Program, contact Rosa Piña or call her at (978) 974-0770 X7001.