Washington Post: Fresh Fruits and Veggies Are A Prescription for Better Health

Have you ever thought about fruits and vegetables as medicines? Yes, you read that right! In a fascinating initiative by Bread for the City, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC, doctors prescribe fresh fruits and vegetables to their patients. This innovative approach, highlighted in a Washington Post story, “At Bread for the City, doctors prescribe fresh fruit and veggies,” is changing lives, especially for our homeless, people living in poorer communities or on fixed incomes.

Imagine living in a place where you can’t easily buy fresh produce. This is known as a food desert and a real problem for many. Bread for the City is tackling this issue head-on with its Produce Rx program. This program is not just about treating diseases; it’s about caring for the whole person. 

Patients with conditions like diabetes or hypertension are given prescriptions for fruits and vegetables. They receive prepaid cards every month, which they can use to buy fresh produce at local stores. It’s a simple yet powerful idea: improve health through better nutrition.

This approach is particularly relevant when we think about the role of California in our nation’s food supply. California’s farmers and farmworkers are at the forefront of planting, growing, and producing the fruits and vegetables that feed our community and the entire country. Their hard work and dedication, along with the efforts of shippers and Western Plant members, keep our food supply safe and abundant.

Mother Nature is not always kind to the plants and trees that feed us. Harmful insects can devour crops. Diseases can wipe out fruits, nuts, and vegetables – leaving fields barren and our grocery store shelves empty. Our members are global leaders in understanding how to nourish plants and protect crops so that fruits, vegetables, and nursery plants can thrive. WPH members help provide opportunities for millions of people to lead healthy and productive lives powered by nutritious fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The success of this program shows how vital access to healthy food is. It’s not just about treating illness but also preventing it. As we support efforts to end food deserts and promote health through nutrition, let’s remember the essential role of California’s agricultural community. Their dedication helps make programs like Produce Rx possible, contributing significantly to our collective health and well-being.


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