Community Foundation Grants $50,000 to Polk County Produce Prescription Program

Aug. 3, 2021 null

The Community Foundation has awarded a $50,000 Leadership Grant to support this week’s launch of the Polk County Produce Prescription Program, a pilot program created by the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative in collaboration with Broadlawns Medical Center.

The pilot program is the first of its kind in Iowa and will allow participants and their families to redeem produce prescriptions prescribed by their health care providers for fresh fruits and vegetables. In the first six months of the program, produce prescriptions will provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables for up to 150 at-risk patients and their families who participate in the Broadlawns Diabetic Management Program.

The prescriptions can be redeemed at the following local farmers markets and grocery stores in Des Moines’ urban core:

·       Hy-Vee Euclid - 2540 East Euclid Ave. Open daily 6 a.m - Midnight

·       Hy-Vee MLK -  3330 Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy. Open daily 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.

·       C-Fresh Market - 801 University Ave. Open daily 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

·       LSI Global Greens Farmers Market - 3200 University Ave. Open Saturdays 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

·       Heart of Des Moines Farmers Market - Forest Ave. between 6th St. & 8th St. Open Saturdays 2 - 4 p.m.

More than 55,000 people in Polk County identify as food insecure and are not able to afford nutritious foods. Highly-processed and less-nutritious foods are often less expensive and more accessible to food insecure communities, but lead to an increased risk of chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can help manage these conditions.

“Healthy individuals and families contribute to healthy communities and, ultimately, a healthier state,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative. “We are honored to have received this grant and have the opportunity to expand access to nutritious fruits and vegetables through the Polk County Produce Prescription Program.”

Leadership Grants are made possible by the Better Together Fund. Through strategic Leadership Grants in 2021, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines intentionally evolved grantmaking priorities and cycles to provide more nimble funding, center grant awards around equity and serve populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Donors to the Better Together Fund give to support community needs now and into the future as identified through the Community Foundation’s grantmaking process facilitated by the organization’s expert staff, Grantmaking Committee and board of directors.

“We are excited about the outcomes the Polk County Produce Prescription Program pilot can leverage for our community and those who are nutrition insecure,” said Angie Dethlefs-Trettin, chief community impact officer for the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. “This program, coupled with Double Up Food Bucks and other pantry services, will help to ensure all of our neighbors have access to the fresh foods and vegetables they need to live strong and healthy lives.”