What they do: The Flint Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program in Flint, Michigan, is a fresh produce prescription program managed by Michigan State University (MSU) and the Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. MSU researchers have implemented this program while studying its effectiveness for addressing household- and child-level food security, dietary patterns, and weight status of pediatric patients.
How they do it: All pediatric patients attending Akpinar Children’s Clinic, Hurley Children’s Center, or Mott Children’s Health Center, as well as prenatal patients at Hurley OB-GYN and OB/GYN Healthcare Associates, receive a $15 fresh produce prescription at the end of each medical visit. The prescriptions can be used in one of two ways:
- In person, at the Flint Farmers’ Market, which is open year-round on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from any one vendor. The prescription cannot be split up to make purchases at multiple vendors.
- Through an online or telephone order of a Flint Fresh fruit and veggie box. Patients select $15 worth of fruits and vegetables for their box. The boxes can be delivered to the patient’s home or work address, or the patient can pick up their box in person at Flint Fresh.
MSU researchers in the Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health have reported preliminary findings indicating that the program has been effective for improving dietary patterns and food security among young patients at the Hurley Children’s Center. The same team is now engaged in a larger study that includes approximately 700 households across all three pediatric clinics in Flint that offer the prescription program. One additional study will assess feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a prenatal fresh produce prescription program offered at two clinics in Flint.
Mission: To expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables for children and families living in Genesee County.
Annual Budget: Not disclosed
Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect health: The program was included in the 2018 Farm Bill so that it could be replicated across the country. As of October 2022, more than 85,000 produce prescriptions had been distributed in Flint, Michigan.
Akpinar Children’s Clinic
2303 Stonebridge Drive Bldg A
Flint, MI 48532
Hurley Children’s Center
300 E 1st St Suite 201
Flint, MI 48502
Mott Children’s Health Center
806 Tuuri Pl
Flint, MI 48503
Hurley OB-GYN Clinic
1 Hurley Plaza 9 West
Flint, MI 48503
OB/GYN Healthcare Associates
Two Hurley Plaza, Ste. 204
Flint, MI 48504
Core Programs: Pediatric produce prescription program
Number of staff: 7
Number of volunteers: Varies
Areas served: Genesee County, Michigan
Year Started: 2016
Director: Amy Saxe-Custack, PhD, MPH, RD
Contact Information: Email: email@example.com, Phone: 810-600-5656
- $1.6M Given to Study Pediatric Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Programs (The Flint Courier News)
- $1.6M to Study Pediatric Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Programs (Michigan State University-Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health)
- Challenges and Successes of a Pediatric Produce Prescription Program During COVID-19 (Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior)
- Effect of a Pediatric Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program on Child Dietary Patterns, Food Security, and Weight Status: A Study Protocol (BMC Public Health)
- Flint Fresh’s Fresh Take on Food Access (Michigan Health Endowment Fund)
- Flint Influences US Farm Bill (Michigan State University-Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health)
- Flint Inspires National Nutrition Prescription Program in US Farm Bill (Michigan State University)
- Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative)
- Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program Receives Award (Michigan State University-Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health)
- Fruit and Vegetable Prescriptions for Pediatric Patients Living in Flint, Michigan: A Cross-Sectional Study of Food Security and Dietary Patterns at Baseline (Nutrients)
- Fruit and Veggie Prescriptions Found to Improve Children’s Diets (Earth.com)
- Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program in a Pediatric Clinic (Current Developments in Nutrition)