Fresh Food Rx is an innovative food-based healthcare program. We can truly let food be our medicine!
Doctors and other healthcare practitioners prescribe fresh food to community members who need it for their health. Participants can redeem their prescriptions for free fruits and vegetables through our Groceries from The SEED online store.
Fresh Food Rx
Here’s what we know.
- Eating fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of chronic illnesses (such as cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes and cancers)
- People with the lowest household incomes are the least likely to consume the recommended amounts of fresh food, because it is more expensive and harder to store
Here’s where our healthcare system falls short.
- Economically vulnerable Canadians have the highest rates of dietary illnesses, impacting every aspect of their lives
- Treating these illnesses is costing our health system up to 121% more
- Investing in good food early on changes health trajectories, which benefits everyone
We decided to bridge that gap.
Through a provincial pilot of social prescribing by the Alliance for Healthier Communities and Ontario Trillium Foundation, we launched our own Fresh Food Prescription pilot in 2019. Our first pilot had 60 households using their prescriptions weekly for 12 weeks. We partnered with the University of Guelph to evaluate the pilot closely. Here is the study, published in the Archives of Public Health in July 2021: https://archpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13690-021-00657-6
In 2021, with further support from the Sprott Foundation and McConnell, we have launched a second pilot- with 60 households for a full year! We are partnering with the University of Guelph and the University of Victoria for evaluation and are excited to see results.