‘Fresh Food Pharmacy’ offers alternative way of managing diabetes
Volunteers with Geisinger Health System's Fresh Food Pharmacy pilot program fill weekly grocery bags with fresh produce, lean proteins and healthier sugars for the participating diabetic patients. From left: Corinne Klose, Maria Welch, Michelle Weissinger and Helen Limbert
A ‘pharmacy’ specialising in fresh foods has officially opened in the United States.
Located in the small town of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, the pharmacy has been opened by a local health care provider with the aim of providing healthy food to those with Type 2 Diabetes.
Prescriptions for free healthy foods are provided to patients who then go pick up the food just as they would any type of medicine.
Pharmacy champion, Dr Andrea Feinberg, said the pharmacy hopes to give low-income earners access to healthy foods.
“Diabetes, as well as other diet-related illnesses, are a serious issue in low-income communities,” Dr Feinberg said.
The Fresh Food Pharmacy is stocked with items consistent with American Diabetes Association guidelines. If patients are not familiar with the foods on offer recipes, sample menus and phone call support is provided. Case managers, doctors and pharmacists are also closely involved to ensure the patients’’ diets are managed correctly.
The pharmacy has purposely been established in Shamokin where according to the US Census Bureau’s latest data, 20 per cent of all residents live below the poverty line. According to 2015 local hospital data, 12 per cent of residents over the age of 20 have diabetes.
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