For many Latina women and their families, Produce RX, a program we offer in partnership with Virginia Garcia, is changing what they eat and the way they think about food. For Yanet (pictured below), this couldn't be more true. When Yanet's daughter passed away, she dealt with her grief by turning to unhealthy food. During this difficult time in her life, her weight went up to over 200 pounds. Instead of cooking healthy meals at home, her family ate takeout food about two to three times a week. Emotional eating had taken over Yanet's life. So when she heard about our Produce RX program, she jumped at the opportunity to get her family's health back on track.
Latinos are disproportionately at risk for diet related diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and Produce RX is working to change that. Through cooking classes and vouchers for fresh produce at our Farmers Market, Produce RX is making healthy diets more accessible to low-income Latino communities in Oregon.
Like many Latina women, Yanet was worried that her family wouldn't be interested in eating a diet heavy in vegetables, and she wasn't sure how to cook them. But since taking the Produce RX cooking classes, she has gained the confidence to cook a healthy, balanced diet. And her husband and three daughters are excited about it as well. Her husband now brings mixed vegetables to work for lunch instead of fried meat.
Since Yanet's family lives on her husband's income, she says money can be tight. The vouchers for produce at our Farmers Market gives her the ability to buy local, organic produce. Now, her whole family enjoys trips to the weekly market. She says her family feels better now and they have more energy. They even have fewer trips to the doctor since they don't get sick as often. Yanet says she now has the tools necessary to battle emotional eating and keep her whole family's diet as healthy as possible.
119 individuals and 21 families have benefitted from the Produce RX program. Our qualitative research shows that the program has greatly reduced health care spending for participants. Thanks to supporters like you, programs like Produce RX are changing lives.