How We Work | Produce Prescriptions | Wholesome Wave

How We Work | Produce Prescriptions


Who We Serve

Sixty million Americans struggle to put healthy food on the table. Unfortunately, the cheapest food choices cause diet-related disease. As a result, the US spends $500 billion a year on diet-related illness. But when healthy food is affordable, people buy it --and everything changes. That’s why we’ve brought nutrition incentives into the healthcare space - by empowering doctors to prescribe produce to the people who need it most, from seniors in Navajo Nation to mothers & children in Los Angeles.

Woman Smiles while Holding Produce at Main Co-op

 

How it works

Since 2010, we’ve partnered with doctors to provide patients with innovative fruit and vegetable prescriptions. Participating providers enroll patients into the program for 4-5 months at a time. Doctors and nutritionists provide $1/day per household member in produce prescriptions, which can be redeemed for fresh produce at participating markets and grocery stores.

STEP 1

Hospital or clinic establishes funded prescription program.

STEP 2

Patients enroll with doctors & receive prescriptions.

STEP 3

Patients bring prescriptions to participating market or store to purchase produce.


Impact

Diet has surpassed smoking as the number one cause of death and disease in America. Produce Prescriptions offer a simple, yet effective solution. 69% of program participants eat more produce and 47% decrease their BMI. And beyond the patient, local economies thrive because every dollar spent benefits the farmer, the retailer and the distributor.

HEALTHIER PATIENTS
INCREASED PRODUCE SALES
MORE EFFECTIVE DOCTORS
LOCAL ECONOMIC GROWTH

Expert Advisors & Resources

Are you a doctor, hospital administrator, grocer or market operator looking to launch a produce prescription program? Do you need support on program implementation, data collection, fundraising and more? Need an onsite training from our team? We’ve got the expert staff to help you on your way to change lives through produce prescriptions.

Skye Cornell

CHIEF PROGRAMS OFFICER

Julia Pon

VP OF PROGRAMS
FAQS
Does the produce prescription program just serve individual patients? What about the rest of their families?

We provide produce prescriptions for the patient’s whole household. That’s because change happens on a family level. Numerous studies indicate greater success when a patient needing to make a lifestyle change is not treated in isolation. Lasting change happens when the entire family participates.

Why focus on food? What about bigger problems?

The fact is, food touches so many other issues. When people spend more money on produce, farms, merchants and businesses thrive and create more jobs. Local agricultural economies benefit, and farmers keep farming. Fruit-and-vegetable agriculture provides 2.6 times more economic value than conventional crops. And when people can afford daily produce, over time, public health improves. Children do better in school, people stay out of emergency rooms and avoid expensive treatments like insulin and dialysis. As a nation, we stand to save billions on healthcare costs. This is why we call these outcomes a win-win-win. Maybe it would be more accurate to call it a win-win-win-win-win!

Who qualifies for produce prescriptions?

Patients at participating clinics or hospitals can check with their doctor to see if they qualify for FVRx. Qualifications vary slightly by location but the program is designed for low-income patients at a high risk of diet-related disease. 

There’s not a produce-prescription program near me. What’s involved in launching a new location?

Hospitals or clinics can partner with an area grocery store or farmers market to launch and run the program. It takes teamwork, but we can show you how to do it. Members of Wholesome Wave's Network receive access to our Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program toolkit on establishing and growing produce prescription programs - it walks you through every step, including fundraising strategies, and has been downloaded thousands of times. Or reach out to our team of on-staff experts, available to consult for projects large and small.

Take Action

Donate or join today to help Wholesome Wave bring fresh, local fruit and vegetables to more communities around the United States. 

 

Donate Now      Become a Member