A pilot program in Portland is hoping to prescribe healthy meals for low income families and individuals. Oregon Health Plan members at select clinics can get a $15 prescription for healthy food and fill it at their doctor's office.
The Food Rx (Prescription) program features a trolley car parked in select doctors' parking lots filled with healthy food. Patients obtain a voucher from their doctor to use at the trolley. CareOregon spokesman Tom Wunderlich says the response has been positive so far.
Wunderlich: "It's kind of a breakthrough for a lot of people, you know. They've gotten advice or education on nutrition and that kind of thing before, but having their doctor right there – have it be, you know, right at the clinic – really helps underscore the importance of it and what it means for them."
Wunderlich hopes the program will be a conversation starter between patients and health officials. Nurse-practitioner Rachael Postman says for many OHP patients, it's hard to get to a grocery store to buy healthy food.
Postman: "A lot of our folks don't have cars you know – a lot of them are either working multiple jobs to get by: a lot of them, you know, are single moms with several kids. And so, it can be really hard to, like, physically get to the grocery store."
The Richmond Neighborhood Clinic, where Postman works, has invited farmers to sell produce in its parking lot.
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