Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Offers Vegetable Prescriptions
Eating fruits and vegetables provides health benefits – people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. The reality is, processed foods are more affordable. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is working to help increase access to healthier food choices with a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program called Complete Eats Rx.
Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is collaborating with the Washington State Department of Health and Safeway Foundation to increase access and affordability to healthy foods for patients on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) who are at higher risk for food insecurity and chronic disease. The program will help patients increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables.
“The ‘prescription’ is a 10 dollar voucher our Primary Care Registered Dietitians will distribute to patients during one-on-one appointments, through healthy eating classes, or events offered by our organization,” said Briana Walker, Primary Care Registered Dietitian Supervisor. “Patients can use their prescriptions like cash to buy fruits and vegetables at any Safeway store in Washington.”
Patients can shop for a variety of fresh, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables with no added fats, sugars, or salt (sodium). The prescription expires one month from the date it was issued. The program is expected to run through 2019.
The program is jointly funded by Safeway/Albertsons and the Washington State Department of Health’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant awarded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the USDA.
“Yakima County has among the highest percentage of households using SNAP in the state,” said Alyssa Auvinen, Department of Health FINI program director. “We are excited to partner with Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic to make fruits and vegetables more affordable for their patients.”