Flint Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program: Produce Prescription Program Spotlight

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Major Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Community Foundation of Greater Flint

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

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: saxeamym@msu.edu, Phone: 810-600-5656

Learn More:

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