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. Vouchers can then be used to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands and other select sites.
-Veggie Rx Recipient
1 in 3 Gorge residents worry about running out of food
1 in 5 Gorge residents run out of food
1. Healthcare providers screen clients for hunger
2. Clients experiencing food insecurity are enrolled in a fresh produce program
3. Local farmers supply produce for Veggie Rx participants
4. Participants continue to receive a “dose” of fruits and vegetables while enrolled in the program
Increases access to fresh produce
Inspires healthier cooking and eating
Supports our local farmers and economy
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.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed the “What Works for Health Menu” of evidence-based programs and policies. Fruit and vegetable incentive programs are listed as the highest among categories of effectiveness. It is considered “scientifically supported”. Strategies with this rating are most likely to make a difference. These strategies have been tested in many robust studies with consistently positive results.
First, healthcare and social service providers at participating clinics 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.
If you are a patient at one of the following locations, you may be eligible to enroll in a Veggie Rx program:
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.
-Veggie Rx Recipient
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)