Veggie Rx

Issue Overview

The question of diet has been elevated from a personal issue to a public health crisis.

According to the Center for Disease Control, in 1990 no state had an obesity rate greater than 15%. Just 15 years later, however, 5 states had obesity rates between 20% and 25%, and the remaining 45 states all had rates over 25%.

Studies have shown that being overweight or obese poses risks for health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood cholesterol, hypertension and stroke, asthma, and certain forms of cancer. The National Center for Weight & Wellness at George Washington University has estimated that obesity-related medical costs now total over $300 billion.

Local and community food systems advocates are now promoting affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables in an effort to shift diets away from highly processed, high-fat and high-sugar foods.

OCFSN members are partnering with health care providers on “Veggie Rx” programs, through which doctors and nurses can offer patients with specific diet related health concerns or experiencing food insecurity vouchers for purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some programs also offer nutrition counseling and cooking skills education to help patients develop healthier eating habits.

The OCFSN Veggie Rx working group is evaluating existing programs in Oregon to determine which models are most successful, and developing a base of evidence to show that fruit and vegetable subsidies are an effective intervention that can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.

Read more about Veggie Rx programs across the state here.

Participating Organizations


Adelante Mujeres

Curry Watersheds Partnership

Friends of Zenger Farm

Gorge Grown Food Network

Healthcare Without Harm

High Desert Food and Farm Alliance

Marion-Polk Food Share

NeighborWorks Umpqua

Oregon Farmers’ Market Association

Oregon Health & Science University

Oregon Food Bank

Oregon Public Health Institute

Ten Rivers Food Web


Letter to the Oregon Health Administration commenting on CCO 2.0

OCFSN Veggie Rx Strategic Plan -2020 Updates

Statewide Evaluation of Veggie Rx Programs 2019-2020

Executive Summary of Statewide Evaluation – Veggie Rx 2019-2020 (simplified review of statistically significant findings in the 2019/2020 statewide evaluation of Oregon Veggie Rx Programs)

Podcast: Veggie Rx program (review of the Statewide evaluations)

Team Chair and Contact

Kaely Summers
Forest Grove Farmers’ Market Manager
Adelante Mujeres
[email protected]
(503) 992-0078