Monday, August 8, 2016

Update on the Bronx Health REACH Vegetable and Fruit Prescription Program

A supermarket tour at Key Foods, part of the Vegetable and Fruit Prescription Program.

As of July 2016, one hundred and seventy patients have participated in Bronx Health REACH’s Vegetable and Fruit Prescription program at three Institute for Family Health centers in the Bronx (Mt. Hope, Walton, and Stevenson). Patients that have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more (considered obese) are given a Vegetable and Fruit Prescription by their doctor. The patient “fills” the prescription by purchasing fruits and vegetables at one of the eleven supermarkets and bodegas participating in the program. Once the patient receives a Vegetable and Fruit Prescription, a Bronx Health REACH Community Health worker provides information about the program and nutrition education.

Patients also get an opportunity to go on tours of supermarkets and bodegas. Conducted in English and Spanish, the tours consist of an aisle by aisle review of healthy vs. unhealthy food, lessons in understanding food labels, and determining which food items provide the best value through unit pricing. At the end of the supermarket tour participants get to purchase $10 worth of healthy food. Three tours are scheduled for August. In addition to these tours, there will also be farmers markets tours. On those tours, patients may redeem their prescriptions for Health Bucks that they can use towards the purchase of fruits and vegetables at the farmers market.

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