Many kids in D.C. don’t have access to healthy fruits and vegetables. But a program that’s trying to change that is now expanding.
More DC kids will have access to healthy foods as ‘food pharmacy’ expands
It’s run by the Capital Area Food Bank, and it allows doctors to “prescribe” fruits and vegetables to families that are not getting enough healthy foods in their diets.
That’s sometimes the case in D.C. because people don’t have access to healthy food in their neighborhood. Through the program, families can pick up groceries recommended by their physician at a “food pharmacy” located at the their doctor’s office after appointments.
Amerigroup is donating $450,000 to expand the program says plan president, Adrian Jordan.
“This will feed an additional 150 families over about 3 years,” Jordan said.
The donation more than doubles the number of family’s who can be helped, which right now is about 120.
Jordan says the great thing about the program is that families can tailor what they receive. For example, if a child really likes oranges or kiwis, doctors can make sure more those get in the box. He says there’s also more specific help for those receiving the boxes of food.
“The really cool part of this is it’s just not giving you a box full of Brussels sprouts and lettuce and saying ‘Go be heathy.’ They actually will have a nutritionist who will tell you how to make it taste well,” said Jordan.
Amerigroup says its research shows rates of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in children have been rapidly increasing in the last few years, partly as a consequence of the childhood obesity epidemic and lack of access to healthy fruits and vegetables.