Giant Food Announces Produce Rx Program Coming to Washington D.C. Store Location
WASHINGTON, DC - Giant Food has reported its participation in the Produce Rx pilot program in partnership with local nonprofit, DC Greens, to give customers better access to healthy food.
“Giant Food is excited to be bringing the Produce Rx program to our local Alabama Avenue store,” said Gordon Reid, President at Giant Food. “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.”
According to the company’s press release, customers who are Medicaid beneficiaries through AmeriHealth Caritas DC through the program and who are currently experiencing a diet-related chronic illness, can receive a prescription for fruits and vegetables from their healthcare provider and fill the prescriptions at the Giant pharmacy at 1535 Alabama Avenue SE in Washington D.C.
Customers may fill prescriptions during their weekly shopping trips at the in-store Giant pharmacy. When filled each week, a Giant pharmacist will provide the customer with a $20 coupon to be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the store’s produce department.
"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. "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."
The motivation behind implementing Produce Rx was to further support hunger relief efforts, nutrition counseling and access to healthy foods. Giant continuously aims to build healthy communities through its team of expert in-store nutritionists and pharmacists, the Guiding Starts nutrition rating system, Nutrition Made Easy! Podcast, and more. Giant donated over five million pounds of food to hunger relief and nutrition education resources in 2018.
“Healthful food is essential to healthy people. The Produce Prescription Program is part of DC Health's portfolio of innovative Healthful Food Access Initiatives, and these initiatives work together to meet individual and household food access needs while addressing gaps in the food environment in specific areas of our city,” said Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, Director, DC Health.
The Produce Rx pilot program will run at the Giant store through December 31, 2019 and customers may renew their prescriptions with their healthcare providers throughout the program as stated in the press release. With the hope to expand to more individuals in the future, the pilot will kickoff with 500 AmeriHealth patients.
“AmeriHealth Caritas DC is committed to helping our members, especially those with chronic health conditions, improve their overall health by adding more fruits and vegetables to their daily diet,” said Keith Maccannon, Director of Community Relations and Outreach at AmeriHealth Caritas DC. “Collaboration with community-based organizations and businesses like DC Greens and Giant Food are a key component of our strategy in this area.”
On April 24th, the program will be spotlighted at an event. The event, which is open to the public, will feature speakers including DC Greens, Giant, DC Health, AmeriHealth Caritas DC, and DC Councilmembers Trayon White and Mary Cheh.
For more updates on the Produce Rx Program and Giant Food, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.