New Report Outlines How Farmers Markets Can Help Non-Profit Hospitals Promote Community Wellness

By: Honesta Romberger       Posted On: June 18, 2015

Food Trust LMA PFB 507 (49)

Photo Credit: Dave Tavani

The Food Trust, a Philadelphia based non-profit committed to food access and nutrition education, recently released a report outlining how non-profits and hospitals can work together to promote health and wellness in their local communities.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, non-profit hospitals are now required to provide benefits to the communities in their area to maintain their tax-exempt status.

In accordance with the new mandate, Lankenau Medical Center, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), and The Food Trust partnered to pilot a Philly Food Bucks project. The project expanded Philly Food Bucks, an incentive program that connects eligible patients with vouchers redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables at any participating farmers market.

The program also incorporates prevention services at participating farmers markets, providing free health screenings, nutrition information, and family-friendly wellness activities.

The report states that farmers markets provide an ideal setting for hospitals to engage diverse populations. They also create an opportunity for fruit and vegetable “prescription” programs that improve healthcare access, reduce healthcare costs, and incentivize healthier eating habits in the extended community.

Click here to read the full report.