How We Work | Produce Prescriptions | Wholesome Wave

How We Work | Produce Prescriptions

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Wholesome Rx: Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program

Forty 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 over $1 trillion 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 up to $1/day per household member in produce prescriptions, which can be redeemed for fresh produce at participating markets and grocery stores.


Hospital or clinic establishes funded prescription program.


Patients enroll with doctors & receive prescriptions.


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


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.


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. For more information email

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.

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.

Where does the funding for produce prescriptions come from?

Funding for produce prescriptions generally comes from foundations and nonprofit hospitals’ community benefit funds. Funding is the most significant obstacle to launching a program. We offer a toolkit specifically designed to walk you through starting  and sustaining your own program, including fundraising strategy. 

Take Action

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


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