Veggie program earns honors


A VEGGIE PROGRAM in Sherman County has received a community partnership award. Community partners came together and wrote a $22,323 grant to the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO), helping to launch the food prescription program Veggie Rx. The entities included: Sherman LCAC, Gorge Grown Food Network, and North Central Public Health (fiscal agent), Sherman County Medical Clinic, OSU Sherman County Extension, Mid-Columbia Center for Living and Sherman County School District. The program, which began in spring 2017, has continued since.

File photo by Trisha Walker
A VEGGIE PROGRAM in Sherman County has received a community partnership award. Community partners came together and wrote a $22,323 grant to the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO), helping to launch the food prescription program Veggie Rx. The entities included: Sherman LCAC, Gorge Grown Food Network, and North Central Public Health (fiscal agent), Sherman County Medical Clinic, OSU Sherman County Extension, Mid-Columbia Center for Living and Sherman County School District. The program, which began in spring 2017, has continued since.



The Sherman County Veggie Rx program has garnered a community partnership award.

At the annual Oregon State University 4-H and Family Community Health Conference in Portland March 12-15, the Sherman program received a second place “community partnership award.”

Cindy Brown of OSU Sherman County Extension accepted the award on behalf of Sherman Veggie Rx.

What’s Veggie Rx?

A fruit and vegetable prescription program addressing food insecurity in the region.

A bevy of community partners came together and wrote a $22,323 grant to the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO), helping to launch the prescription program that affords fresh fruit and vegetables through medical providers.

Popularly known as “Veggie Rx,” the program launched in May 2017 and it’s becoming a national model for bringing together health care, nonprofits and food systems in order to address health and hunger, according to Gorge Grown Food Network, project director.

Clients at the medical clinic, mental health counselor, WIC, and students at the Sherman School, are screened for food insecurity, using two validated food security questions.

If qualifying, individuals or families receive monthly prescription vouchers good for $30 worth of fresh produce at local stores or farmers’ markets. Medical providers prescribe vouchers at their discretion based on the number of family members.

Veggie Rx project focuses on the Children’s Health Promotion incentive measure through EOCCO by addressing food insecurity within families.

Sherman area families that receive Veggie Rx vouchers report that the program gives them better access to fresh produce, helps them stretch their food budget and/or food stamp allotment, and encourages them to purchase and consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Local grocery stores and farmers’ market vendors benefit from the new customer base as families shop with their Veggie Rx vouchers, Gorge Grown Food Network explained in a statement.

Local example

Gorge Grown pointed to Huskey’s 97 Market in Moro as an example of a business responding to increased demand.

The store worked with food network staff to become a Healthy Corner Store, setting up new attractive displays for regionally grown and other produce.



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