Aspirus Health, 2022 Community Benefits

Aspirus Health Expands Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program

Aspirus Wausau Hospital’s Farmers Market.
The perfect place to find fresh food is at your local farmer’s market. From farm to table, the produce is one of the healthiest ways to get all your nutrients.

Now in its sixth year, Aspirus Health expanded its Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Program to include 13 farmers market locations in Wisconsin and six in the upper peninsula of Michigan as part of a systemwide effort to provide patients with access to fresh produce. 

Patients are identified by the Patient-Centered Medical Home team and Health Resource Team as having a need, whether it be food insecurity, low income, chronic conditions, or lack of access. Eligible patients are given a “prescription” to use at one of many participating farmers' markets in the Aspirus service area.

“We know that a diet rich in fruits and veggies is healthy for us, but not everyone has the same access to these items,” says Diane Hinrichs Kelbel, RD, CD, registered dietician at Aspirus. “This program is designed to get more nutritious foods in the hands of more families in our communities.”

When a FVRx is provided, participants get access to information on how to buy, store and consume local produce; tips and strategies for eating more fruits and veggies; as well as tokens to be used for purchase at participating farmers’ markets. 

Aspirus hospitals in Wisconsin that participate in the FVRx program include: Aspirus Riverview Hospital, Wisconsin Rapids; Aspirus Langlade Hospital, Antigo; Aspirus Medford Hospital; Aspirus Merrill Hospital; Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital, Portage; Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital; Aspirus Plover Hospital; Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Aspirus Tomahawk Hospital.