Mounting evidence shows that nutrition interventions can play a key role in improving health, controlling health care costs, and supporting local, sustainable food systems. As a result, opportunities have been emerging in U.S. health care and food systems that could provide the funding and infrastructure to sustainably support these programs; however, access to nutrition interventions continues to be limited.
With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) launched the Mainstreaming Produce Prescription (Rx) Programs initiative to fund, scale, and integrate Produce Rx programs – a popular nutrition intervention – into health care delivery and existing food system infrastructure. Produce Rx programs enable health care providers to distribute vouchers for free or discounted produce to patients living with, or at risk of, diet-affected health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. These promising programs promote access to healthy foods while reducing the financial burden of maintaining a healthy diet.
In October, CHLPI released an initial scan and analysis of current laws and policies that both support and hinder the expansion of Produce Rx programs (see the link below to “Produce Prescriptions: A U.S. Policy Scan”). Taking this research into account, as well as dozens of interviews and focus groups with stakeholders, CHLPI plans to release a broader National Produce Prescription Policy Strategy Report in 2021 to provide a roadmap for action on the issue. To receive the latest news about the Mainstreaming Produce Rx Programs initiative, follow the “Sign Up for Updates” link, below.