Wholesome Wave is a national organization dedicated to supporting small and midsize farms, and making fresh, healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables available to all people, regardless of income. Wholesome Wave partners with farm-to-retail venues, community leaders, healthcare providers, like-minded nonprofits and government entities to implement programs that benefit both consumers and the farmers who provide for them, with the ultimate goal of improving access and affordability of fresh, healthy, locally-grown produce to historically underserved communities.
With the support of a grant from the Illumination Fund, Wholesome Wave will partner with the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to launch its Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) in the spring of 2013. As part of the Illumination Fund’s Healthy Food & Community Change initiative, the foundation’s grant enables Wholesome Wave to adapt its FVRx program from community clinics to work in much larger hospital settings. The new FVRx pilot with HHC will focus on patients at-risk of diet-related diseases and who live in underserved communities. In addition to receiving prescriptions for fruits and vegetables, which are redeemable at participating local farmers markets, patients meet regularly with their doctor to discuss the benefits of healthy eating and they receive nutrition counseling from a trained professional. Wholesome Wave 2011 pilot results from communities where similar pilot FVRx programs were launched indicated that 94 percent of patients increased fruit and vegetable consumption and that new and repeat market customers drove significant sales for farmers.
We are excited and honored to be partnering with HHC and incredibly grateful to the illumination fund for helping us expand this innovative program to hospitals. Through these fvrx pilots we hope we can demonstrate how community partnerships with private philanthropy, health care providers, city food policy councils, and the farmers who grow local, fresh, healthy foods can help improve health and reduce overall health care costs.
Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave, CEO and Founder