The Oregon Veggie Rx programs within the Oregon Community Food Systems Network seek to curb food insecurity by providing fresh produce. In addition, Veggie Rx provides nutritional and educational resources to support healthy lifestyle changes for patients experiencing food insecurity and diet-related diseases.

Typically, healthcare providers prescribe produce prescriptions to patients who redeem them at Farmers Markets or for a CSA membership and occasionally to retail outlets. Patients enrolled in Veggie Rx programs report behavioral, mental, and physical health improvements while the local economy and small farms benefit via produce sales. These programs represent partnerships between local health clinics, Coordinated Care Organizations, and the organizations that manage the programs.

Impacts

In 2020, 11 programs across Oregon served an estimated 1,300 Oregonians with an estimated benefit equivalent of $320 per participant and their families for a total estimated benefit of 4-5 million dollars mostly spent on produce directly from small farms. This total does not include the cost of program operations.1

Veggie Rx programs were associated with statistically significant improvements in:2

  • Household food insecurity
  • Self-reported health measures
  • Social engagement
  • Number of medications

What Patients are saying…

“I feel healthier now, in less pain and with more energy. My A1C level is down to 6.0, was very high at the start of Veggie Rx”

“I went to the doctor and my blood pressure is down. And it’s because of the fruit and vegetables. This makes a huge difference for me. That’s money I didn’t have to spend on blood pressure prescription – my husband is on 17 prescriptions so having one less to purchase really matters.”

“Kids really enjoyed coming and are open to trying new recipes, prepared recipes at home, program helped during hard times.”

Oregon Programs

Click program links below for web and email or use the print tool to include both in your printout.

Adelante Mujeres – Produce Rx Program

Washington County, Oregon

Kaely Summers 503-707-1674

Adelante Mujeres aims to improve health outcomes for low-income Latinx patients who suffer from or who are at-risk for diet-related diseases. Based on the belief that every individual has the innate capacity for growth and transformation, the program partners with Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center to provide education and financial assistance to help participants develop healthy long-term habits. Participants receive vouchers to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at the Forest Grove and Cornelius Farmers Markets.

Blue Zones Project Umpqua – Veggie Rx Program

Roseburg, Oregon

Juliete Palenshus

Blue Zones Project's Veggie Rx Program aims to inspire individual behavior change through the increased consumption of produce as a powerful tool for combating diet-related chronic disease and food insecurity. Peripheral benefits are supporting local farmers, cultivating a social network around well-being, and connecting participants to local nutrition education resources. The program is impermanent and does not aim to change the economic status of participants.

Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties – Veggie Rx Program

Mid-Willamette Valley (Corvallis, Alsea, Monroe, Lebanon, Sweet Home), Oregon

Christine Mosbaugh

Primary Care patients of the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties are eligible for tokens to be used at most local Farmers’ Markets in our service area. The program is based on self-report screening and tokens are refreshed monthly. Pre-COVID, we hosted a farm stand at three clinics throughout the week; the future of this options remains unclear.

Food for Lane County – Trillium Veggie Rx Program

Lane County, Oregon

Jen Anonia

Trillium Veggie Rx in partnership with the FOOD for Lane County Youth Farm offers vouchers to the Youth Farm produce stand to insurance members who are food insecure and either pre-diabetic or diabetic.

Friends of Zenger Farm – CSA Partnerships for Health Program

Multnomah County, Oregon

Lauren Lubowicki (503) 282-4245 x102

CSA Partnerships for Health connects local farms and health clinics for well-nourished communities. CSA Partnerships for Health provides a creative, engaging solution to improve food access and reduce disease by turning community health centers into vibrant neighborhood spaces that distribute food from local farms. Patients arrive at their home clinic each week to pick up fresh vegetables, taste healthy recipes, learn new ways to prepare produce, and build support networks that lead to improved health outcomes and a higher quality of life. To participate, patients must be receiving primary or dental care at one of our 8 participating clinics, be food insecure, and have or be at risk of developing a diet-related chronic disease.

Gorge Grown Food Network – Veggie Rx Program

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon & Washington

Patty Garland

Gorge Grown’s Veggie Rx is a fruit and vegetable prescription program designed to address food insecurity and increase intake of fresh produce. The program empowers participating health care and social services providers to ‘prescribe’ vouchers to community members who screen positive for food insecurity. Vouchers can then be used to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands and other select sites.

Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. / Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance – Frontier Veggie Rx Program and FVRx Program Expansion

Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, Harney, Malheur Counties, Oregon

Marci McMurphy 541-705-4958

Frontier Veggie Rx- produce (fresh and frozen) prescription program serving Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, and Harney Counties. Sponsored by Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc., Gilliam County Local Community Advisory Council, Sherman County Local Community Advisory Council, Wheeler County Local Community Advisory Council, and Harney County Local Community Advisory Council. Gilliam, Sherman, and Wheeler Counties are for anyone who identifies as food insecure. Harney County target population is for EOCCO members who identify as food insecure.

High Desert Food & Farm Alliance – Veggie Rx Program

Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Central Oregon

Hannah Brzozowski

VeggieRx is a fresh produce prescription program that improves healthy eating habits for individuals experiencing food insecurity and diagnosed with diet-modifiable disease.  Participants receive fresh vegetables and fruits, nutrition education, and one-on-one support from the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance's Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist.

Marion Polk Food Share – Farm Share Rx Program

Salem, Oregon

Jared Hibbard-Swanson

The Farm Share Rx prescription produce program provides free, weekly fruit and vegetable shares to food insecure patients at local health clinics. Produce is grown and distributed by teens from the Food Share's Youth Farm.

Valley Family Health Care – Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization/EOCCO Rx for Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Program

Marci McMurphy 541-705-4958

Meghan Chancey

Lindsay Grosvenor

The Eastern Oregon hub just received a two-year $200,000 grant from No Kid Hungry, a campaign of Share Our Strength committed to ending hunger and poverty. The grant will support and expand the Frontier Veggie Rx Innovation program. EOHLA partnered with Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, OHSU Moore Institute and Valley Family Health Care on the proposal. The funding will expand the current Frontier Veggie Rx Program in Malheur and Harney counties, and expand it to Lake county. It will also work to strengthen and formalize a screening and referral network with multiple partners, including public health, Department of Human Services, primary care and/or pediatricians. Finally, it will establish a care team approach and offer connections with Community Health Workers to help address social determinants of health barriers to food access and food security for program participants.

  • 1*”Veggie Rx Programs Across Oregon,” survey and summary conducted by cultivaré, llc.
  • 2”Veggie Rx 2019-2020 Program Results Summary,” by Tajwar Taher and Eecole Copen

Was this page helpful?

Related Content from OSU Extension

Ask an Expert
Photo: Design by Erik Simmons.

Have a Question? Ask an Expert!

Ask an Expert is a way for you to get answers from the Oregon State University Extension Service. We have experts in family and health, community development, food and agriculture, coastal issues, forestry, programs for young people, and gardening.

Ask Us a Question