Children are not the primary decision makers on what type of food is served at home. To effectively address childhood obesity, educating caregivers on healthy eating is crucial. The Prescription Produce Program (PPP) was designed to empower caregivers with children at-risk for obesity to access healthy, affordable food and to prepare it in ways their family will enjoy.
This comprehensive twelve-week program will be implemented in four sites in the Richmond region from July 2014 to June 2016, and will include these components:
- A Nurse Practitioner will meet weekly with 15 caregivers, measure their BMI and blood pressure, and “prescribe” fresh produce.
- A local producer—Shalom Farms—will fill the prescription onsite with one serving of produce per day for every household member.
- Caregivers will participate in six cooking classes to gain skills in preparing the produce and eating it with their families.
- Participants can supplement prescriptions by purchasing affordable produce at a weekly farm stand which accepts SNAP and doubles food stamp dollars.
- Participants will learn strategies for selecting healthier food choices on a tour of their closet grocery store.
- The food bank—FeedMore— will pilot a “healthier” mobile pantry at PPP sites, distributing more nutritious options and no sugar-sweetened beverages.
By participating in the Prescription Produce Program, caregivers will know how to purchase and prepare fresh vegetables and will understand the impact healthy, home-cooked meals have on themselves and their families.
“I love the zucchinis. I never ate them before. But I love them now.”
Lorraine Cavell, a participant in the PPP who lost nearly 30 pounds during the 3 month program
Key Result: 100% of participants in the PPP report eating more fresh produce during the program and 58% tried a new fruit or vegetable.