Enhancing the connections between the health center’s healthy food access work and its clinical practice is an important goal for 2013. Beginning in June 2013, the Bowdoin Street Health Center will begin a pilot Healthy Food Prescription program whereby providers may “prescribe” produce purchases at the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market to their patients.
Enrolled patients will be provided with written prescriptions which can be redeemed weekly for fresh produce at either the Bowdoin Geneva Farmers Market (located on-site at the health center) or the Dudley Town Common Farmers Market operated by The Food Project. Prescriptions will be written for 4-week intervals at which point they may be refilled by scheduling a follow-up appointment with the health center’s nutritionist.
This initiative will serve to bolster sales at both markets, making it more financially-viable for produce vendors while further integrating the Community Health department’s role in the health center’s provision of superior care for its patients.
For more information on the successes of food prescriptions, check out this recent article from The New York Times.