La Red launches Produce Prescription Program

La Red Health Center
Posted 2/15/24

La Red Health Center is partnering with Dittmar Family Farms in Felton to offer its pediatric patients organic produce.

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La Red launches Produce Prescription Program


GEORGETOWN — La Red Health Center is partnering with Dittmar Family Farms in Felton to offer its pediatric patients organic produce.

The Produce Prescription Program aims to get nutritious, whole foods into the hands of those who need them most: the food-insecure and those most at risk for obesity.

La Red, through a $15,000 Advancing Healthy Lifestyles grant from the Delaware Division of Public Health, was able to purchase winter community agriculture shares from Dittmar Farms.

In December 2023, La Red in Georgetown started a small pilot program for 10 families for seven weeks. La Red’s Community Outreach Services staff delivered fresh produce to these households for seven weeks.

When the pilot program ended in January, La Red leaders decided to move it to the pediatric department, where pediatricians work directly with patients and can make assessments in real time to offer produce prescriptions to those in need.

The initiative was then expanded to serve 20 pediatric clients at offices in Milford and Seaford. Dittmar Family Farms delivers produce each Monday, and La Red’s pediatricians offer patients healthy foods to take home throughout each week. The goods are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The items include carrots, apples, leeks and greens. During the first week, the bags also contained the book, “Boxes of Love/Cajas de Amor,” written by local author Jennifer Antonik and translated into Spanish by La Red board member Rony Baltazar-Lopez.

“La Red is invested in our community’s health and believes good health starts with providing children with healthy foods that can reduce hunger and prevent disease,” said Rachel Hersh, the agency’s deputy director. “We are grateful for the AHL funding that made this program possible. We also love that we get to support our local farmers at the same time.”

The Produce Prescription Program will continue through May 3, when La Red’s funding expires. However, the effort is seeking additional monies and community assistance to continue and expand it during the summer months, when children lose access to free and reduced meals at school.

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