Dozens of Detroit health providers, food systems advocates, and community based organizations gathered in Detroit on March 6 to learn about the Ecology Center's Fresh Prescription program.
“Fresh Prescription” partners, Community Health & Social Services (CHASS) Center, American Indian Health and Family Services, and Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation, shared their experiences, outcomes and challenges of the fruit & vegetable prescription programs. Each program is unique, but share the basic premise in which health providers “prescribe” fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income patients. Program participants include families with young children as well as individuals who suffer from obesity and other chronic illnesses. Participants "fill" their prescriptions at a partnering farm stand or farmer's market and also receive nutrition counseling and attend cooking demonstrations. “These prescriptions increase healthy food access, instill healthy eating habits, and help create a healthier food system in Detroit,” according to Kathryn Savoie, Detroit Community Health Director.
The Ecology Center has championed the promotion of fruit & vegetable prescription programs in Detroit, as part of its Sustainable Food, Healthy Communities Program. Savoie says, "We envision, and are subsequently working towards, a city-wide network of community-based clinics and farmers markets prescribing and filling prescriptions for fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables for Detroiters”. To learn more visit the Ecology Center's Community Food Systems page.