Giant Food will pilot the Produce Rx program in partnership with a local nonprofit, DC Greens, to improve customers’ access to nutritious food.
Under the program, Medicaid beneficiaries through AmeriHealth Caritas DC with a diet-related chronic illness can get prescriptions for fruits and vegetables from their health care providers and fill those prescriptions at the Giant pharmacy at 1535 Alabama Ave. SE in Washington, D.C. When filling the prescription, a Giant pharmacist will give the customer a $20 coupon that can be used to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the store’s produce department.
“Giant Food is excited to be bringing the Produce Rx program to our local Alabama Ave. store,” noted Gordon Reid, president of Landover, Md.-based Giant Food. “As a food retailer, we recognize the important role we can play in the access to healthy foods and health education, and the program is certainly a natural fit with our ongoing efforts to support the health needs of the communities we serve.”
“We believe that cross-sector partnerships are the only way to achieve health equity in our city,” said DC Greens Executive Director Lauren Shweder Biel. “Doctors and patients both need more tools to address food insecurity and diet-related chronic illness. Through Produce Rx, our health care system can be a driver to get patients access to the healthy food that they want and need.”
The pilot program, which will run at the Alabama Ave. store through Dec. 31, will kick off with 500 AmeriHealth patients, with the hope of expanding to more individuals in the future. An event spotlighting Produce Rx will take place at the store on April 24, featuring speakers from Giant Food and DC Greens, as well as program partners DC Health and AmeriHealth Caritas DC, and City Council members.
Giant Food operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, 154 of them with pharmacies, and employs about 20,000 associates. The grocer’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.