Jeffrey Gander, MD, an associate professor and pediatric surgeon in the Department of Surgery, Amy Wrentmore, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and their collaborators at Local Food Hub received a three year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nearly $500,000 to study health outcomes of people enrolled in the produce prescription program. The grant brings together stakeholders from food and health care systems with the goal of providing fresh, affordable food to participating households with food insecurity.
The program works locally by identifying families in need who are cared for at UVA Children’s pediatric clinics and connecting them with Local Food Hub who provides access to bi-weekly shares of locally-sourced fresh produce. Over an 18-month period, families begin paying what they can for one fresh food share per month through the Fresh Farmacy Fruit and Veggie Prescription Program, and also receive a second share free of charge. Shopping at local farmers markets is also encouraged through incentives. The program is monitored for a period of 30 months by clinicians and social workers to measure health impact over time.
Read more about Local Food Hub and their mission to advance equitable access to fresh food, independent farms, and fairness in farming.