Connecting our most vulnerable neighbors with the food and tools they need to positively impact their health.
A nationally competitive $50,000 grant made possible by MidWestOne Bank has been awarded to a collection of Johnson County community organizations to create The Veggie Rx Pilot Program in an effort to fight diet-related diseases with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Local leaders from the Coralville Community Food Pantry, North Liberty Community Pantry, University of Iowa Health Care’s Upstream Clinic, Johnson County’s Local Foods Coordinator, and several local farmers are teaming up to launch the Veggie Rx Pilot Program. This first-of-its-kind collaboration in the state of Iowa is designed to help low-income individuals facing diet-related health issues. This program will directly aid in improving the health of its participants through routine access to locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, individualized dietary guidance, and engaging educational activities related to growing, preparing, and eating healthy foods. The fresh produce will be purchased directly from local farms to be distributed to up to 40 participants enrolled in the 26 week program, as well as, stock the Coralville and North Liberty Food Pantries with high quality, nutrient dense food. The impact of the participants newly complete diet will be tracked and analyzed by medical professionals and medical students from the UIHC’s Upstream Clinic.
Health screenings will begin this fall to determine eligibility for the Veggie Rx Pilot Program with the goal to begin distributing weekly vegetable “prescriptions” by April 2020.