KPCW | By Amber Borowski Johnson
“Food Farmacy Rx” is a new program at the People’s Health Clinic that gives those experiencing food insecurity access to fresh produce.
If food is medicine, it seems appropriate that the People’s Health Clinic’s new program providing “prescriptions” for fresh fruits and vegetables is called “Food Farmacy Rx.”
PHC’s new Director of Volunteer Services and Food Security Lead Helen Nadel explained.
“Our patients have particular issues with accessing fresh food,” said Nadel. “And with this new ‘Food Pharmacy Rx’ program, we are not just enabling our providers to write a literal prescription that’s in their electronic medical record, but also is given to them to have increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The “Food Farmacy Rx” program is a partnership between the PHC, The Christian Center of Park City and Summit Community Gardens & EATS.
Nadel said inflation is a contributing factor to the many increased needs in the community. So, how is it determined who will receive these prescriptions?
“We are screening for transportation and housing insecurity,” said Nadel. “And most relevant for this program, is food insecurity. So over the last three months, we have had 53 patients who have screened positive for food insecurity and of those, some are going to be eligible for this ‘Food Farmacy Rx’ program.”
The produce will be distributed through the Christian Center’s 47 mobile pantries that are scattered throughout Summit and Wasatch counties. And this isn’t the past-its-prime food found in the bargain bins at the grocery store.
“So these big bags of beautiful produce that our patients received–they were just thrilled to see how fresh it was, to hear that it was harvested that morning just a couple of miles away,” said Nadel. “And that’s a level of quality that our patient population doesn’t typically have access to because there are lots of barriers to accessing fresh, healthy food. Fresh fruits and vegetables of that quality are so expensive.”
And thanks to PHC and its community partners, this is one prescription that literally provides good food for the soul.