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USA: Giant Food to fill prescriptions for fruits and veggies

Author: George Anderson

Source: RetailWire

Giant Food has announced that it is participating in a single-store pilot program in Washington, DC that will allow Medicaid beneficiaries suffering from diet-related chronic illnesses to receive a $20 coupon at the pharmacy to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in the produce section if they bring a doctor’s prescription.

The program, which kicks off tomorrow, is run in concert with DC Greens, a local nonprofit dedicated to giving the city’s residents access to healthy foods.

“We believe that cross-sector partnerships are the only way to achieve health equity in our city,” said Lauren Shweder Biel, executive director of DC Greens, in a statement. “Doctors and patients both need more tools to address food insecurity and diet-related chronic illness. Through Produce Rx, our healthcare system can be a driver to get patients access to the healthy food that they want and need.”

“As a food retailer, we recognize the important role we can play in the access to healthy foods and health education, and the program is certainly a natural fit with our ongoing efforts to support the health needs of the communities we serve,” said Gordon Reid, Giant Food’s president.

Giant Food sees Produce Rx as a complement to its existing programs geared to meeting the nutritional needs of its customers, including its in-store nutritionists and pharmacists, the Guiding Starts nutritional rating system and its “Nutrition Made Easy!” podcast. Last year, the grocery chain donated over five million pounds of food to hunger relief organizations.

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