Doctor Prescribing Produce

Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program empowers participants to make lifestyle changes.

Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program

This produce prescription program empowers participants to make behavioral changes that support healthy living and alleviate pain and healthcare costs.  After joining remote learning classes and discussions, participants receive vouchers after each class for the six week series that can be sued at local Farmers Markets and participating grocery stores. Continue to attend virtual cooking classes focused on eating a variety of seasonal produce, and communicate with staff about staying motivated and making healthy recipes. 

Eligible participants are referred to the program by our healthcare partners to treat diet-related illnesses, including diabetes, pre-diabetes, and hypertension.  At this time, we are enrolling patients on Medicaid and patients who are SNAP or WIC eligible. 

If you are a healthcare partner and would like to refer patients to our program or are qualified to be a part of our program, please email Iluminada Vilca at iv55@cornell.edu. For all other questions, please feel free to reach out to Sandi Bastedo at sb932@cornell.edu.

Evaluation

In addition to nutritional education and food access, our program conducts participatory research that gathers feedback from patients about whether access to produce and our cooking classes and behavioral support are improving their health. The research that we collect is evaluated by professionals within Cayuga Health Partners and the Master of Public Health program at Cornell University to monitor health and program outcomes and constantly improve our services for participants.

The program started in 2018 with a pilot group of 8 members, who saw beneficial results in their BMI, blood pressure, and food security status. In 2019, 44 people completed the program, and in 2020, 75 local individuals were supported on their journey to better health.

With their insights, we have 

  1. added delivery options
  2. added voucher booklets to spend at local farmers markets for those who want to shop independently from a CSA share
  3. shifted our education to focus more on staying motivated, using a Facebook support group, classes on motivational theory, and one-on-one health coaching
  4. focused our cooking classes, recipes, and tips on preparing lesser-known vegetables, highlighting how every edible plant can taste amazing when fresh and prepared appropriately

Testimonials

"It is an incredible program... My husband and I both have type 2 diabetes, which has helped both of us a lot. His A1C has dropped from 6.8 to 5.9, and I feel better.  Being creative in the kitchen was like therapy for my depression, good for my soul as well as for my body.  I am very grateful for this program and would recommend it to anyone who would benefit from it."

"My Mom was not eating vegetables at all, now it's there in her daily diet, just trying new things."

"I have become more adventurous in the kitchen and have rediscovered a love of cooking that has gotten lost over the years... I have become more organized in terms of storing produce... and also in planning meals in advance and shopping for other ingredients. Also, I began buying more organic foods, such as bread, and trying to make my diet altogether healthier."

Contact

Sandi Bastedo
Senior Nutritionist, Northern Finger Lakes SNAP-Ed NY
sb932@cornell.edu
(315) 331-8415

Last updated February 17, 2022