A program in New York City is proving effective at improving the health and reducing the medical issues of its participants by prescribing a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables instead of drugs. Created by the nonprofit, Wholesome Wave, the program was initially launched out of Harlem Hospital Center and has since been taken up by several others.
Along with providing families with Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions (or FVRx), doctors also provide nutritional education, recipes, and “Health Bucks” that are redeemable for produce at a local farmers’ market.
The program is focused on neighborhoods that are typically underserved by grocery stores and where it’s easier and often cheaper to eat at fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
Along with benefiting the participants, the program also benefits the participating farmers who sell more produce, thus stimulating the local economy.
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