Gorge Grown’s Veggie Rx is a fruit and vegetable prescription program designed to address food insecurity and increase intake of fresh produce. The program empowers health care and social services providers to ‘prescribe’ vouchers to community members who screen positive for food insecurity (hunger). Vouchers can then be used to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands and other select sites.
In 2014 and 2017, 40 organizations worked together to identify the top health needs in the Columbia River Gorge region. The results revealed epidemic hunger throughout all 5 counties of the Gorge. Two discerning results showed that:
Gorge Grown and partners sprung into action with Veggie Rx — a program that is quickly becoming a national model for bridging health care, non-profit and food system sectors. We believe nutritious, healthy food is a cornerstone of health.
First, healthcare and social service providers screen patients for hunger using 2 simple “screen and intervene” questions:
1) In the last 12 months, did you and the people you live with worry that you would run out of food before you were able to get more?
2) In the last 12 months did you and the people you live with run out of food before you were able to get more?
Providers then write a ‘prescription’ for those in need. Patients or clients ‘fill’ the prescription at farmers’ markets or farm stands for fresh, whole fruits or vegetables. This provides direct access to healthy, local produce to those that need it most while strengthening our economy by keeping dollars local.
Redemption sites change throughout the year depending on the season. Please see the list of current redemption sites listed in each packet of vouchers. Redemption sites include: all Gorge Farmers Markets, Gorge Grown Mobile Market, farm stands including Mt. View Orchards, Cody Orchards Farm Stand, Kiyokawa Orchards, Evan’s Fruit Stand and Maryhill Fruit Stand as well as other seasonal sites.
Oregon Food Bank 2018 Profile, page 29
Veggie RX Oregonian Article
MCMC Article: Feeding a low income communty
Gorge Magazine Article
Veggie RX HR News Article
Skyline Hospital Newsletter
Harvesting Health: A Community-Based Participatory Evaluation of the Veggie Rx Program (Click to download PDF)
Veggie Rx Photovoice Summary: Capturing Participant Outcomes (Click to download PDF)