FARMacy is a weekly program where doctors “prescribe” fresh, healthy, locally grown foods to food-insecure patients with chronic diet-related diseases.
Doctors identify patients who struggle with food security and whose medial conditions would benefit from dietary changes. Then they provide a “prescription” entitling patients to free weekly bags of fruits and vegetables from pop-up farmers markets held at their doctor’s office or clinic. Farmers are on hand at those markets to talk about produce and FNP nutrition educators provide taste-tests, recipe demonstrations, recipe handouts, opportunities for physical activity and nutrition education classes.
The original FARMacy program started in 2014 at a clinic in Wheeling. Nine FARMacy programs now operate at hospitals and clinics around West Virginia. Eight of those are new for 2020, funded by a $658,000 Walmart Foundation grant that is helping FNP expand its programming to 10 West Virginia counties — Barbour, Boone, Cabell, Greenbrier, Lincoln, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Roane and Upshur.
Imagine going for a checkup and receiving some not-so-great news—but instead of your physician adding another pill to add to your morning routine, she hands you a slip of paper that reads:
By the Numbers
33 FARMacy sites
FARMacy programs in 33 communities connected participants living with chronic conditions with fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables, nutrition education and physical activity opportunities.
238 people served
In 2020, 238 people participated in FARMacy programs throughout West Virginia to help control their diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
20,864 pounds of food
In 2020, FARMacy distributed more than 20,000 pounds of fresh, locally grown produce to FARMacy participants throughout West Virginia.