Produce Prescription Programs

Produce Prescription Programs support healthy behavior change for individuals and families through partnerships with healthcare and other providers who focus on supporting healthy eating – like farmers and farmers markets. Programs are commonly aimed at improving health outcomes for low-income patients with diet-related chronic diseases.

In Michigan, we have an ever-changing number of Produce Prescription Programs. In 2016 MIFMA inventoried the programs in operation across the state and published:  Prescription for Health Programs in Michigan: An Overview and Summary of Best Practices.

Here at the Michigan Farmers Market Association, we are working to build a statewide network of individuals and organizations implementing Produce Prescription Programs. This network focuses on strengthening programs by sharing strategies regarding community and patient engagement, metrics and evaluation, and financing and program sustainability. If you would like to be added to the contact list for quarterly meetings, please email michelle@mifma.org and include Produce Prescription Programs Statewide Learning Network in the subject line.

Produce Prescription Programs Statewide Learning Network Snapshot

Despite growing evidence of the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, only about 12 percent of adults in the United States consume the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) minimum recommended amount of fruits (one and a half to two cups per day), and only 9 percent consume the recommended amount of vegetables (two to three cups per day) (CDC Newsroom 2017). Produce Prescription Programs are one potential solution to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, especially among low-income populations suffering from chronic health conditions.

The Michigan Farmers Market Association partnered with Public Sector Consultants to identify the potential health impacts and healthcare cost savings of Produce Prescription Programs in Michigan. This paper is part of that research and examines the health impacts of fruit and vegetable consumption, potential healthcare cost savings from adequate consumption, the barriers to and possible cost benefits of increasing consumption, and the possible impact of Produce Prescription Programs on fruit and vegetable consumption and overall health.

Click the button below to read the Fruit and Vegetable Health Impact Analysis.

Read Here

To learn more about how to start a Produce Prescription Program in your community, we recommend the Prescription for Health Program Implementation Guide developed by Washtenaw County Public Health.