Coronavirus: Information, Resources, and Updates for New Mexico’s Local Food and Farming Community

Connect • Grow • Learn

FReshrx (produce PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM)

FreshRx is a produce prescription program run by the New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association (NMFMA) that provides incentives for patients to complement their current medical care by purchasing nutritious, New Mexico grown produce. 

Patients with diet-related illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, can add more vegetables and fruits to their meals through FreshRx.

FreshRx is grounded in the idea that food is medicine and in the conviction that everyone has the right to access high-quality, healthy food.

How Does It Work?

The program supplies food vouchers to partnered health clinics to distribute weekly to their patients, who could benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables. Participants can spend these food vouchers at farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture farm (CSAs). from spring to fall.

Addressing chronic health issues and food insecurity, while supporting local and sustainable agriculture, is the goal. FreshRx is a partnership between the NMFMA, federally qualified health clinics, farmers‘ markets, and CSAs across the state.

Fifteen federally funded clinics and 400 patients are currently involved in the program. 

Health Clinic Partners:

  • La Clinica de Familia (Las Cruces)
  • La Familia Medical Center (Santa Fe)
  • El Centro Community Health (Las Vegas, Española, Taos)
  • Hidalgo Medical Services (Silver City)
  • First Choice Community Health (Albuquerque, Belen, Los Lunas)
  • Presbyterian Community Health (Albuquerque, Española, Socorro)

Patients wanting to participate in FreshRx can directly contact their local clinic for more information.

Clinics interested in implementing FreshRx and potential funders can email FreshRx Program Coordinator Kirsten Hansen. 

Historic Health Impact! 

The FreshRx program was first designed to improve behaviors related to healthy eating, while tracking health data in the clinic setting. The program originally ran from 2012 to 2014 in Española through a partnership with El Centro Family Health and Wholesome Wave Foundation.

Two positive health outcomes were measured and the data is in the following graphs from Española‘s program in 2014. During 4 months of the FreshRx program, participants increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and 54% of them decreased their body mass index (BMI).

Modified versions of the FreshRx programs have also been funded in partnership with Presbyterian Healthcare in Albuquerque, as well as conducted by El Centro Family Health in Las Vegas and by Presbyterian Medical Services in Socorro.

Funding for FreshRx is provided through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Grant Program (GusNIP).

 

The average daily amount of fruits and vegetables increased during the program

54% of the patients decreased their BMI during the course of the 4-month program.