Veggielution: Filling Prescriptions

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SVHC Member Story
Lydia, Veggielution

lydiaOne of the many partnerships that Veggielution has is with Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital system, this partnership has doctors prescribing vegetables instead of medication to their families. Every Saturday I stand at the Farm Stand as the Farm Host, registering volunteers and dispatching the volunteer workforce throughout the 6 acres and when possible helping field questions from customers looking for the produce stand. Every Saturday among those families and individuals who come to the Farm Stand to purchase their vegetables, are families who come to “fill their prescriptions”. Through this program depending on the size of the household determines whether they have $15, $20 or $25 to spend a the Farm Stand. The beauty of this program is that families fill their bags with produce, all the while shopping with dignity. Instead of being given a bag of prepackaged food and inadvertently telling them they don’t know how to make good choices, this manner gives them the power to decide for themselves what they would like to “purchase” for their families. And being that they have a set monetary amount to fill their prescription, thats where the exploration of unknown veggies enters. You’ll hear Colleen at the Farm Stand say, “you have $5 more to fill your prescription” and that’s when they ask for recipes for the unknown items. For many before they are complete with their shopping, their children discover the Youth Garden.


One family in particular has taken me up on that offer and in turn not only has returned every Saturday for their prescription produce, but they leave their bags behind the counter and go work together as a family in the Youth Garden. I haven’t quite figured out how many are in the family since they always bring other friend’s and relative’s children with them so that they may also enjoy the Youth Garden. Sometimes people find us through a flier at a coffee shop or perhaps because they have to complete a service hour requirement. Others find us because they were filling their health providers prescription.