“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is taking on a whole new meaning…
Beginning Friday, July 7, you may be able to receive a prescription for fresh fruits and vegetables from the Fairview Community Health Center if medically eligible.
The Farmacy began in Letcher County in 2014 as a collaborative health initiative between WellCare Health Plans, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, and the Community Farm Alliance—allowing patients who are obese, diabetic, experience hypertension, or are pregnant to get vouchers for fresh produce instead of medication.
Qualifying patients of the Fairview Community Health Center and each member of their household can receive $7 worth of food vouchers every Friday until August 18th to use at the Community Farmers Market on Nashville Road.
After seeing its success in Letcher County, WellCare Health Plans put $50,000 into the initiative this year to spread the Farmacy to Warren, Owsley, and Harlan counties.
Elizabeth Starr, the company’s advocacy manager reports, “not only did the patients show health improvements, but they also wanted to stay in the program—94% said they were motivated by the Farmacy program to eat a healthier diet, 99% said the program helped their family financially by meeting nutritional needs and then, this is my favorite, 70% reported canning or freezing excess produce. So, it meant that they could extend the food past the time that they were in the program, into the amount they were getting.”