Organic Consumers Association

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Children Are Receiving Prescriptions for Fresh Fruit and Produce From Their Doctors

A new program in Flint, Michigan, allows pediatricians to write prescriptions for discounted produce. Could it be a solution for the entire nation?

Following research and a new study that suggests prescribing fresh fruit and veggies could help children living in poverty eat healthier, a program has doubled its efforts in Flint, Michigan, allowing pediatricians to grant their patients access to discounted fresh produce at a nearby farmers market.

Back in 2015, a pediatric clinic associated with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine relocated its offices to the second floor of a building that houses the downtown Flint Farmers' Market. It began testing a limited program where certain patients were given $15 prescriptions for fresh fruit and vegetables that could be redeemed downstairs at the market.

Through interviews, researchers learned that parents, families, and caregivers of the children receiving these prescriptions were more likely to shop at the farmers' market—and to buy and cook healthier food.

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