Flint children’s fruit and vegetable prescriptions expand to county’s largest clinic

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 7:11 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A program that allows pediatricians to write prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables is expanding to Genesee County’s largest pediatric clinic.

Several years ago, Hurley Children’s Center became the first facility in the nation to offer fresh fruit and vegetable prescriptions. Children received the prescription with a $15 voucher to purchase fresh food.

The vouchers can be used in person at the Flint Farmers Market or through Flint Fresh Mobile Market.

“Kids can actually go online to Flint Fresh and order the box the fruits and vegetables that they want in their boxes and have them delivered to their door for free,” said Amy Saxe-Custack, the nutrition director for the Michigan State University Hurley Children’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative.

She said a new $1.6 million grant from the Institute of Child Health and Human Development will allow the program to expand to Mott Children’s Health Center, which is the largest pediatric clinic in Genesee County.

“So we will now be able to introduce the program to a whole new group of children in Flint and in Genesee County, which is really exciting,” Custack said.

She and her team will study the effectiveness of the pediatric fruit and vegetable prescription program across three participating sites in Flint.

”We know that dietary patterns are established early and we know that dietary patterns are related to the development and prevention of chronic diseases,” Custack said.

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