Thanks to a three-year $225,000 multi-program grant from Giant Food’s Our Family Foundation, the Food Bank of Delaware and Delaware Pediatrics formally launched their new “Produce Prescription” partnership yesterday afternoon.
Through this pilot, participating Delaware Pediatrics clinics will identify up to 120 families who are at risk for food insecurity and diet-related health conditions. Referring patients will receive a “produce prescription” which enables them to receive 15-20 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each month from the Food Bank, which will be distributed at the patients’ normal pediatric clinics.
“Recent studies have indicated a strong connection between food insecurity and heightened occurrence of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “This pilot seeks to utilize medical interventions to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables among children with high risk factors for food insecurity and diet-related health conditions. We are thankful that Giant Food supports this important initiative.”
“At Giant, we are constantly looking for opportunities to help our community through our Feeding America partnerships, such as we have with the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Jamie Miller, Manager, Public & Community Relations, Giant Food. “Being a better neighbor is at the forefront of Giant’s values, and we are happy to partner with the Food Bank for this Produce Prescription program designed to make a real difference in the lives of at-risk members of the community.”
The Food Bank will also provide other services such as cooking demonstrations, nutrition education, benefits enrollment assistance and gardening instruction through the Food Bank’s mobile greenhouse.
“We jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Food Bank,” said Dr. Matthew Gotthold of Delaware Pediatrics. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are cornerstones to good health. The irony is those who need it most have the least access.”