HealthPartners teams up with Cub; prescribes fruits and vegetables for children all summer long
Clinics to offer $10 prescriptions for local grocery stores
Bloomington, Minn. – Beginning this June, children who visit one of 58 participating HealthPartners, Park Nicollet, Stillwater Medical Group or Westfields Hospital & Clinics will not only get a check-up and preventive care, they will also have the opportunity to receive a $10 prescription(Rx) to buy fruits and vegetables at various grocery stores in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
“Providing this prescription to families in a medical setting sends a powerful message that to be in the best health, everyone should eat five fruits and vegetables every day,” said Anne Edwards, MD, Pediatrics Chair with Park Nicollet Health Services. “It gives physicians a tool to talk to families about making better-for-you food choices and it may reach families who would not otherwise choose fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The program, which began three years ago as a pilot program at the HealthPartners clinics in Hugo and White Bear Lake, has experienced steady growth in recent years, with more than 6,500 families receiving an Rx for fruits and veggies in 2015. This year, the program has expanded to 58 total clinic locations, with a goal of reaching approximately 16,000 families. Prescriptions from all clinics can be redeemed at Cub grocery stores, except in Hugo where the local partner is Festival Foods. Prescriptions issued at the Westfields, Stillwater, Mahtomedi and Somerset clinics can be redeemed at either Cub, Family Fresh grocery stores, or the Westfields Farmers’ Market. Funding for the vouchers is provided by Cub Foods.
“Cub is committed to providing fresh, high quality produce and we’re very excited by the opportunity to help more kids get access to these healthy foods,” said Eric Hymas, president of Cub. “We want to thank HealthPartners for this chance to work together on this important initiative.”
The fruit and veggie Rx runs through July, and is based on research linking consumption of fruits and vegetables to improved health. The 2013 Minnesota Student Survey found that a majority of 5th graders (6 out of 10) in the Twin Cities metro area eat fruit only once a day or less. Three out of four 5th graders eat vegetables once a day or less.
In addition to the fruit and veggie Rx program, HealthPartners yumPower, BearPower and PowerUp School Challenges provide a fun program that includes tracking how many fruits and vegetables kids eat. Last year, more than 20,000 kids at 57 schools participated in the program. Fruit and veggie tracking increased by approximately 10 percent during the School Challenge.
“Fruits and vegetables are a key to healthy family eating,” said Andrew Dorwart, MD, St. Croix Valley Medical Director. “The voucher is a way to help make it a little easier to get more fruits and vegetables.”
Founded in 1957, HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation. The organization is dedicated to improving health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community, and provides a full-range of health care delivery and health plan services including insurance, administration and health and well-being programs. HealthPartners serves more than 1.5 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. The care system includes more than 1,700 physicians, seven hospitals, 55 primary care clinics, 23 urgent care locations and numerous specialty practices in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. HealthPartners Clinic, Park Nicollet Clinic, Stillwater Medical Group, Westfields Hospital & Clinic, Physicians Neck & Back Clinic and virtuwell.com are all part of HealthPartners. In addition, HealthPartners Dental Group has more than 70 dentists and 22 dental clinics. HealthPartners also provides medical education and conducts research through its Institute for Education and Research. For more information, visit healthpartners.com.
CUB, based in Stillwater, Minn., was established in 1968 as one of the nation’s first discount grocery stores. The organization was purchased in 1980 by SUPERVALU and currently operates 79 stores in Minnesota and Illinois that offer customers fresh produce, a wide selection, and food expertise throughout the stores to meet their everyday grocery needs. As the hometown grocer for over 48 years, CUB has made it a priority to be a good corporate citizen by helping to create healthy and thriving communities that enhance the quality of life for its customers, employees, and neighbors. For company news and information, follow us on Twitter at @CubFoods and Facebook at www.facebook.com/Cub, or visit our website at www.Cub.com.