Prescription for Produce: DC Program Focuses on Getting Ward 8 Residents Healthy

A new program in D.C.'s Ward 8 has doctors writing prescriptions for produce instead of pills.

Nonprofit organization DC Greens partnered with the Giant grocery store on Alabama Avenue Southeast along with other health care systems in Ward 8 to offer "produce prescriptions."

"We’re working to make sure that healthy food access is integrated into our health care system so that patients who are experiencing diet-related chronic illnesses can get the healthy foods they want and that they need," said Lauren Biel, the executive director of DC Greens.

Doctors can give patients a 20-dollar voucher to buy fresh produce at the store. Eligible Ward 8 residents can get four vouchers a month.

"I had hypertension. I still have that, but I’m able to monitor it by pills and eating healthier foods," Adrienne Dove said.

Dove lost more than a 100 pounds and credits DC Greens with helping change her eating habits.

"My body - I feel so much more refreshed, more hyper. I’m not always tired like I used to be," Dove said.

The program started in March, but leaders and community members came out Wednesday for the official kick-off.

"This is about re-educating ourselves and figuring out how we can live longer," Council member Trayon White said.

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