Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx)
About: FVRx is modeled after a program that originated on the east coast, designed by Wholesome Wave. This program is a proven way to connect health care systems to their local food systems, a strategy to put physician recommendations into practice, and a support system for families trying to eat better.
Our vision for 2017: Going into our 3rd year of offering FVRx at summer markets in Portage and Marathon County, we’ve learned that there is not one program design that works for all families. And we’ve learned that our local health care providers and our local producers are incredible to work with. We all share a common goal: make it easier for families to eat healthier.
What is FVRx?
The fruit and vegetable prescription program in Portage and Marathon Counties is going into its 3rd year. Reports on Wisconsin’s health status show that we all have room for improvement when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption. Eating at least 5 cups a day of fruits and veggies is an effective way to prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
This program was designed so that pediatricians and health care providers could help their patients eat more fruits and veggies by using local resources. These include farmers’ markets, local organizations promoting healthy eating such as our county health departments, Central Rivers Farmshed, the YMCA, UnitedWay, and community coalitions like Portage County Can and HEAL.
When your health care provider gives you an FVRx, you get:
- access to information how to buy, store and consume local produce
- tips and strategies for feeding your family more fruits and veggies
- a community of paretns to reach out to as barriers arise
AND you get money to spend at a participating farmers market!
The hope is that this prescription becomes an incentive for families to visit their farmers’ markets and explore local fruits and veggies together, and that exploring the farmers market sparks an interest learning how to eat more fruits and veggies!
I enrolled, now what?
- First, don’t lose that FVRx. As soon as you are able, get down to either the Stevens Point Farmers’ Market downtown on the square, the Stevens Point Area COOP, the Wausau Farmers’ Market on River Drive, or the Aspirus Farmers’ Markets at the Wausau hospital location or in Wisconsin Rapids - the Peach Street Market.
- Second, present your FVRx at a booth where EBT cards are redeemed - this may be the Farmshed booth (this is the case for Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids), or the Marathon Co Health and Human Services booth (for the River Drive market). If your child is old enough, let them take the lead on this redemption part. After all, the FVRx is a recommendation for them 🙂
- Third, collect your FVRx tokens and spend them on fresh, local fruits and veggies!
- Finally, go home and figure out what to do with those fruits and veggies.
For help with this part, join our Facebook group and ask away. You can also check out the FVRx blog, the resources from your FVRx folders or the resources tab on this website linking you to other organizations that want to help too!