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Doctors 'prescribe' fresh produce with help from food banks

Sep 25, 2016 - Associated Press

OAK FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The idea is simple: Load fresh fruits and vegetables into a refrigerator truck and drive it to a health clinic, then have a doctor write a "prescription" for food to improve the diets of low-income people with diabetes and high blood pressure.

U.S. food banks - the organizations on the front lines of fighting hunger - increasingly are promoting "food as medicine" strategies designed to address, not exacerbate, the high rate of chronic health problems among the poor.

One-third of households using food banks are feeding a family member with diabetes, and 58 percent have a family member with high blood pressure, according to a recent survey by Feeding America, a national network of 200 food banks. Meanwhile, 55 percent of people identify fresh fruits and vegetables as the foods they most desire but aren't receiving from their food ...