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, health care providers prescribe produce prescriptions to patients who redeem them at farmers markets or for a CSA membership and occasionally at 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 among local health clinics, coordinated care organizations and the organizations that manage the programs.
In 2020, 11 programs across Oregon served an estimated 1,300 Oregonians with an estimated benefit equivalent of $320 per participant and their families, which was 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.”
Click program links below for web and email or use the print tool to include both in your printout.
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'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.
Mid-Willamette Valley (Corvallis, Alsea, Monroe, Lebanon, Sweet Home), Oregon
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 option remains unclear.
Lane County, Oregon
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 prediabetic or diabetic.
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 eight participating clinics, be food insecure, and have or be at risk of developing a diet-related chronic disease.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon & Washington
Gorge Grown’s Veggie Rx is a fruit and vegetable prescription program designed to address food insecurity and increase the consumption 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 is a 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. In Gilliam, Sherman, and Wheeler counties, the program is for anyone who identifies as food insecure. In Harney County, the target population is EOCCO members who identify as food insecure.
Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Central Oregon
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.
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
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.