Veggie Rx is a fresh produce prescription program that improves healthy eating habits for individuals experiencing food insecurity and diagnosed with diet-modifiable disease. The pilot aims to increase the access to and consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits by participants who receive vouchers for produce and nutrition education at Bend Farmers Markets.
Food Insecurity and Hunger
Food security and hunger is still a present issue for many in the United States as 1 of 5 residents are food insecure (hungry) and may not know where their next meal will come from. In Central Oregon, almost 30,000 people qualify as food insecure. Food insecurity is often correlated with chronic and diet-modifiable diseases such as Cardiovascular Disease and Type II Diabetes.
The Veggie Rx program also aims to; initiate and strengthen the conversation of food security between health care providers and patients, increase access to fresh foods, reduce obstacles of nourishment, provide education, and support Central Oregon’s farmers.
HDFFA's Main Objectives
- Implement a Veggie Rx pilot program for people experiencing food insecurity with diet-modifiable disease in order to increase fresh food consumption by participants.
- Provide nutrition education for participants to improve healthy eating habits by program participants.
- Create community linkages between health care, community resources, food system, and participants to enhance community health.
How It Works
- Participants are recommended for the program via physician referral.
- Interested participants then contact HDFFA Veggie Rx Community Health Worker who will assess eligibility for Veggie Rx.
- Once determined eligible, and enrolled, participants will receive $20 of produce vouchers, each week, for 8 consecutive weeks. Vouchers are obtained and redeemed at the Bend Farmers Market. Participants work closely with a registered dietitian nutritionist to learn to purchase, prepare and cook fresh food, understand the importance of vegetables and fruit to a healthy diet, and gain access to addition nutrition education resources.
Each week participants of Veggie Rx receive nutrition information and tips for eating healthy and shopping at the market. Click the link below for weekly nutrition education materials.
Healthy Portion Sizes
Shopping for Healthy Foods
For Interested Participants
To see if you’re eligible for Veggie Rx, click below to take the questionnaire.