A new program allows some Seattle doctors to prescribe fresh fruits and vegetables to their patients. It's called the Fresh Bucks Rx program and allows doctors to give up to $40 a week to patients who shop at select farmers markets.
"What's so great about this program is that it allows us to kind of use food as medicine," says Brandon Auerbach, Harborview and UW primary care physician. "It's a great way to address this issue of food insecurity."
Auerbach says his patients often have to choose between affording healthy food or medication.
The prescription program is an extension of the Fresh Bucks program, a city-wide farmers market program that matches EBT dollars up to $10 a day.
The latest extension with the prescription program started in July.
The City of Seattle, along with Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, Harborview Medical Center, and farmers markets and farm stands in Seattle and King County have helped launch the program.
Auerbach says right now there are about 30 people in the prescription program but is hopeful that a state grant will allow for more than 150 participants.