FRESH SAVINGS RX // DECEMBER
December 19th, 2018 / Author: Cassaundra Lockridge
FRESH SAVINGS RX: ANNIE ALEXANDER’S STORY
Annie Alexander of Rossville, Tennessee participates in the Fresh Savings Rx program sponsored by AARP Foundation. Before Fresh Savings Rx, Ms. Alexander received assistance to buy food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but it was not always enough assistance to afford fresh fruits and vegetables. She was left to purchase processed foods that were readily available and cheap, but not healthy for a 64-year-old woman with health concerns. Now, through Fresh Savings Rx, Ms. Alexander’s SNAP benefits are supplemented with additional funds in the form of vouchers to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ms. Alexander regularly visits Church Health in Memphis for her primary care needs. At a doctor’s visit, she learned her sugar levels were unstable and was diagnosed as prediabetic. As part of the medical screening, her nurse practitioner let her know about the Fresh Savings Rx voucher program and gave her a prescription of healthy fruits and vegetables in the form of six $10 Fresh Savings Rx vouchers.
Church Health also offers health coaches to meet with patients regularly to help manage any diet-related illnesses. Ms. Alexander’s health coach, a family nurse practitioner for Church Health, regularly monitors her blood work, including sugar levels and cholesterol. She also coaches her patients on diet and nutrition. Ms. Alexander is eating 75% more fruits and vegetables since receiving Fresh Savings Rx vouchers. The health coach has noted improvements in Ms. Alexander’s health and specifically in her improved cholesterol levels. More than that, Ms. Alexander now sees firsthand how food and diet impact her health.
Ms. Alexander is eating and feeling better. Her overall health has improved since her original diagnosis of prediabetes. The Fresh Savings Rx program and her health coach gave Ms. Alexander the prescription and assistance she needed for better health.
WHAT IS FRESH SAVINGS RX?
Fresh Savings Rx is a pilot program sponsored by AARP Foundation that offers additional financial assistance to people who participate in SNAP and have, or are at risk for, diet-related illnesses such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes blood sugar levels, diabetes, and obesity. Health care providers at participating clinics prescribe the vouchers to eligible patients. The vouchers (six $10 vouchers per visit, with two refills permitted) are used to purchase fresh produce at selected Kroger stores and farmers’ markets. For more information about Fresh Savings Rx and other AARP Foundation programs, visit Fresh-Savings.org
The resource was created with funding from AARP Foundation and USDA.