A program in New York is recognizing the benefits of prescribing healthier foods rather then prescribing pills. A non-profit group Wholesome Wave is the innovating group trying to introduce healthier foods into low income areas. The FVRx, or Fruit and Vegetable Program, prescribes fruits and vegetables instead of pills to combat obesity issues.
Today low income families are at times forced to eat at fast food joints like McDonald’s because it is within their budget. An analysis of the program showed that 96% of the families involved ate more fruits and vegetables, 90% of these families shopped at farmers markets, and 40% showed a decline in their BMI. The program issues tokens to the participating families who then go to the farmers markets to buy their produce. According to Mark Ahn, the farmers are reimbursed by the non-profit at full value for their goods.
This is a symbiotic relationship that not only improves the eating habits of families but also helps the farmers who participate in the program. Participating farmers are increasing their income which enables them to expand their operations and hire more workers. Community gardens are also being looked at as a means to build on this programs success. This program is beneficial to all involved and should be looked at by all communities.