Produce Prescriptions A cure for fruit and vegetable underconsumption?

Initial research findings suggest produce boxes offer unique benefits. Together, Brighter Bites, a national nonprofit, and UT (University of Texas) physicians have partnered to deliver a produce prescription program and pilot study of 150 families with Medicaid-eligible children ages 5-12 in the Houston, TX, area for eight months. Part of this program includes families receiving deliveries of produce boxes full of about 20 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies, or 8 to 10 types of fruits and vegetables, delivered every two weeks for 32 weeks directly to their home via DoorDash.

“Early indications are that families who received Produce Rx were able to significantly increase their fruit and vegetable consumption. Families have seen a wide array of produce items, such as kohlrabi, eggplant, and dragon fruit, in addition to many items they were already familiar with,” says Mike Pomeroy, MPH, vice president of operations, Brighter Bites.

“One parent commented, ‘My son and I are always excited to see what will come in the bag next week. We work together in the kitchen to find ways to use all the unique produce items.’ These families have learned to love new produce varietals that they will purchase with their own dollars in the years to come, increasing produce sales for everyone,” says Pomeroy.

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