Doctors at REACH Community Health Centre in Vancouver are prescribing fresh vegetables to patients. The program, called We Love Veggies, is based on one created by Connecticut-based Wholesome Wave, which is running in Maine and Massachusetts in an effort to fight obesity. A non-profit society, REACH cares for an ethnically diverse neighbourhood, many of the residents have a lower than average income, with a high level of single parent family households. Malnutrition is an issue in this community.
The program is being rolled out this year, here’s how it works. Doctors write out a prescription, one extra serving of vegetables per person per day for four months. Following a nutritional assessment by a resident dietician, participants receive coupons redeemable at Triple A Market, a green grocer; Super Valu grocery store; and the Trout Lake Farmers Market. Participants are also required to attend a six week veggie cooking class and a final evaluation meeting.
The goal is to increase nutritional health and knowledge, but also to connect clients to other food programs in the area (for example, bulk buying clubs, community gardens and kitchens), so that they can continue to have healthy foods. For more information, contact Carol Ranger firstname.lastname@example.org/.