VFFC's Farmacy Project has reached over 1,747 unique individuals in Rutland County since beginning in 2015!
VFFC’s Farmacy Project emphasizes 2 core elements – fresh produce prescriptions for individuals as “medicine” for chronic diet-related health conditions and fresh produce provided to these clients grown exclusively by new and emerging Rutland farmers.
The Farmacy Project successfully links the underserved in Rutland County to the rich, robust healthy world of good food, community programming and education. Program elements incorporate the concept of "Food as Medicine":
- Working with local healthcare providers to reach at risk families with health issues impacted by diet and providing a referral for food prescription;
- Enrolled Farmacy members picking up 10-12 pounds of fresh produce for 15 weeks, at multiple distribution sites in the county;
- Clients and their families receiving nutrition education and cooking classes supported by community partners and;
- Produce being distributed to Members grown by local Rutland small and emerging farmers.
The Farmacy Project has created and established a system based on relationships that create a successful link between farm viability, and public health - weaving together the educational and cultural experiences that only a people centered, place-based programming can provide.
For more information on becoming a member or on volunteer opportunities please contact:
Emma Hileman, Farmacy Project Director
VFFC’s Farmacy Project is an innovative collaboration working at the intersection of agriculture, public health, and economic development. The Farmacy Project partners with economically challenged new and emerging local farms, primary health care providers, and educators. VFFC offers an actionable preventative health initiative while involving local youth through summer engagement opportunities connecting community volunteers, farmers, and Farm Share Members as part of the regional food network.
VFFC's Farmacy Members benefit from 10-12lbs of local, nutrient diverse, fresh produce, for 15 weeks during the growing season and monthly for the rest of the year. Farm Shares are supplemented with nutrition and cooking education, community dinners, workshops, and cultural events. The Farmacy Project began in 2015 under the diligent and generous direction of Heidi Lynch, now Operations Director for VFFC, and was funded with a Rutland Regional Medical Center's Bowse Health Trust three-year pilot grant. The program has continued to sustain itself with many new national, state and local funders, private donors, and community partnerships.