Virginia’s food insecurity has gone up to 13% since the onset of the pandemic. We know eating a healthy diet helps reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes so we must support access to nutritious food. That’s why this session we’re supporting the Produce Rx Program and the Virginia Food Access Investment Fund.
Produce Rx is a program where a clinician can write a prescription for nutritious food, which can be exchanged at some markets to receive healthy fruits and vegetables. Where this program is being implemented, participants have increased their intake of fruits and vegetables, and in some clinics they’ve even reported a reduction in obesity. We’re asking for $2 million dollars for a state pilot program to serve Medicare and CHIP recipients and provide access to this innovative initiative.
In communities that lack access to healthy foods, some retailers want to provide healthier options, but the resources and equipment needed to provide nutritious foods can be too costly. We’re asking for $4.75 million to expand retailers who provide nutritious food or accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) incentives. This helps retailers provide access to healthier foods to their communities, keeping families healthier.
Join us to support these food issues which are vital to the health and wellbeing of Virginians.