LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) – The Farmacy prescription produce program at the Robert C. Byrd Clinic gives people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health ailments a chance to add some healthy, unprocessed foods into their diets.
Doctors at the clinic meet with patients and prescribe twenty-five dollars worth of free, healthy food for the week.
Culinary Medicine Specialist and Program Coordinator Amy Jasperse said patients start to take their nutrition more seriously when their doctors are prescribing them fruits and veggies.
“It lends credibility to the program. You know, if the doctor thinks it’s important for me to eat produce, and they’re going to prescribe it, then I probably should eat produce,” Jasperse told 59News
This is the second year Farmacy prescription produce will be available in Greenbrier County, with locations in Lewisburg and Rupert.
The program also provides six nutrition education classes for participants, in partnership with the WVU extension service.
“We talk about all the healthy, good, nutritional food that we need to eat, the more whole foods,” WVU Extension Service Health Educator Elizabeth Reynolds explained. “We take that food they get at the Farmacy and we help them with some cooking demos as well.”
Last year, Farmacy participants in Greenbrier County saw their blood sugar drop by roughly 1% on average.
Dr. Bob Foster with the Robert C. Byrd Clinic said although getting a diagnosis like atherosclerosis or high blood pressure can be scary, you can still turn your health around with changes in your diet and exercise – and that’s exactly what the Farmacy aims to help people do.
“You’re not doomed by just saying, ‘Oh I have diabetes, oh I’m never going to get better, I’m only going to get worse.’ No, you can actually reverse that and many other diseases by making some changes. So this gives them that introduction,” said Dr. Foster.