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Veggie Rx: Program offers prescriptions for good health from a farm instead of a pharmacy

On "Communities that KARE," discover the partnership between local farms and M Health Fairview that's tackling food insecurity.

WOODBURY, Minn. — A clinic in Woodbury offers prescriptions for good health that come from a farm instead of a pharmacy.

It's just what the doctor ordered - fresh ingredients to boost immunity. Boxes of vegetables from Sin Fronteras Farm and Food are delivered each week to M Health Fairview's Woodwinds clinic in Woodbury, and others within the hospital system.

We caught up with Eduardo Rivera, a farmer making a delivery.

"There are 14 different things in the box today. Some that were new for this week and some that we have been harvesting already." 

Rivera explained that one of his personal goals is to bring his food to communities that otherwise wouldn't get these farm-fresh products.

"I think the community lacks a lot of access to that food, and I think this program actually helps that," he said.

M Health Fairview's Veggie Rx program just expanded to new clinics to help patients experiencing food insecurity. They get free food, and recipes too. 

According to the Woodwinds clinic's medical director, Dr. Anna Milz, health professionals tried to identify patients with different conditions that could benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables.

These patients were suffering with conditions like malnutrition, iron and vitamin deficiencies, and diabetes. 

They also took into account social history.

If a patient agrees to participate, they get fresh vegetables for the entire growing season. The length of the deliveries varies with the different growers.

So far, the reception is great. "I received a thank you note from one patient just with so much gratitude and being able to participate and get those, the bag of vegetables," said Dr. Milz.

M Health Fairview also partners with the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) and the Women's Environmental Institute (WEI)