Forsyth Farmers’ Market (FFM) has received a $455,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to start a ‘produce prescription program’ in early 2020.
This program, 912 Food Farmacy, will improve community health through nutrition education, increased access to fresh and local foods, and financial incentives for purchasing these healthy food items.
FFM will partner with four local health clinics to serve low-income individuals who have, or are at risk for diet-related chronic diseases: Memorial Health Children’s Hospital, Chatham County Health Department, St. Joseph’s/Candler’s St. Mary’s Health Center, and J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center.
HOW 912 FOOD FARMACY WORKS
Each of the four
participating clinics will recruit 50 to 70 participants. Participants must be low-income and be at risk, or currently have a diet related chronic disease.
Once a month, participants will get a health check-in and attend a class on healthy living, nutrition information and take part in a cooking demo. At the end of the class, participants will receive fresh produce prescriptions, which are vouchers for fresh, local produce redeemable at the Forsyth Farmers’ Market on Saturdays or at any of Farm Truck 912’s 13 regular stops.
Additionally, participants will be able to take a walking tour of the Saturday Market, learn about FFM’s SNAP doubling program, and learn how to incorporate seasonal produce into their diets and budgets.
WHY 912 FOOD FARMACY IS IMPORTANT
The project will: Help people in our community fight obesity and obesity related chronic diseases by strengthening healthy eating habits among at risk populations.
Help families strengthen healthy mealtime habits by offering accessible and healthy food options as well as increasing knowledge of healthy eating.
Offer $90,000 a year in direct financial incentives for the purchase of fruits and vegetables by lower income residents. In turn, that also means a $90,000 increase in sales for local produce farmers.
For more information, or to learn about enrolling in the program, please contact Jeb Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org.