Food insecurity is a condition in which households are unable to access adequate amounts of food. Child food insecurity – anticipated to affect 27% of Rhode Island families in 2022 – is a risk factor for being both underweight and overweight and is closely linked to poor mental health. The Institute is partnering with non-profit organizations to implement and evaluate a clinic and community-based produce prescription program.
In a produce prescription program, non-profit partners work with health care providers and other community organizations to cover the cost of healthy foods for families in the form of stipends, which can be used to purchase food at mobile markets. The system is activated once a pediatric health care provider writes a ‘prescription’ for fresh fruits and vegetables. At the end of this program, we will have data on the impact of the produce prescription program on household food insecurity and related child and family outcomes, which will inform further dissemination of community-based programs.