LANDOVER, Md., April 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Giant Food, the leading greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, announced today its participation in the Produce Rx pilot program in partnership with local nonprofit, DC Greens, to give customers better access to healthy food.
Through the program, customers who are Medicaid beneficiaries through AmeriHealth Caritas DC and who are currently experiencing a diet-related chronic illness can receive a prescription for fruits and vegetables from their healthcare provider and fill the prescriptions at the Giant pharmacy at 1535 Alabama Avenue SE in Washington D.C. Customers may fill prescriptions during their weekly shopping trips at the in-store Giant pharmacy. When filled each week, a Giant pharmacist will provide the customer with a $20 coupon to be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the store's produce department.
"Giant Food is excited to be bringing the Produce Rx program to our local Alabama Avenue store," said Gordon Reid, President at Giant Food. "As a food retailer, we recognize the important role we can play in the access to healthy foods and health education, and the program is certainly a natural fit with our ongoing efforts to support the health needs of the communities we serve."
The motivation behind implementing Produce Rx was to further support hunger relief efforts, nutrition counseling and access to healthy foods. Giant continuously aims to build healthy communities through its team of expert in-store nutritionists and pharmacists, the Guiding Starts nutrition rating system, the Nutrition Made Easy! Podcast and more. In 2018, Giant donated over five million pounds of food to hunger relief and nutrition education resources.
"We believe that cross-sector partnerships are the only way to achieve health equity in our city," said Lauren Shweder Biel, Executive Director of DC Greens. "Doctors and patients both need more tools to address food insecurity and diet-related chronic illness. Through Produce Rx, our healthcare system can be a driver to get patients access to the healthy food that they want and need."
The Produce Rx pilot program will run at the Giant store at 1535 Alabama Avenue SE through December 31, 2019 and customers may renew their prescriptions with their healthcare providers throughout the program. The pilot will kickoff with 500 AmeriHealth patients, with the hope to expand to more individuals in the future.
"Healthful food is essential to healthy people. The Produce Prescription Program is part of DC Health's portfolio of innovative Healthful Food Access Initiatives, and these initiatives work together to meet individual and household food access needs while addressing gaps in the food environment in specific areas of our city," said Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, Director, DC Health.
"AmeriHealth Caritas DC is committed to helping our members, especially those with chronic health conditions, improve their overall health by adding more fruits and vegetables to their daily diet," said Keith Maccannon, Director of Community Relations and Outreach at AmeriHealth Caritas DC. "Collaboration with community-based organizations and businesses like DC Greens and Giant Food are a key component of our strategy in this area."
The program will be spotlighted at an event on April 24th at the Giant located at 1535 Alabama Ave SE in Washington DC. The event, which is open to the public, will feature speakers including DC Greens, Giant, DC Health, AmeriHealth Caritas DC, and DC Councilmembers Trayon White and Mary Cheh.
For more information on the Produce Rx Program at Giant, visit the Giant in-store nutritionist or visit giantfood.com.
About DC Greens
DC Greens is a DC-based organization that advances food justice in the nation's capital by improving food education, increasing food access, and advocating for better food policy. We specialize in cross-sector partnerships and building channels to amplify marginalized voices. We work with DC Health to manage the Produce Plus and Produce Rx Programs, support teacher trainings to integrate food education into classrooms across the city, and collaborate with DCPS on their School Food Advisory Board. We are working towards a city where access to healthy food is treated as a basic human right.
About Giant Food
Giant Food is headquartered in Landover, Md. and operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Giant Food employs approximately 20,000 associates. Included within the 164 stores are 154 full-service pharmacies. For more information on Giant, visit www.giantfood.com.
About DC Health
DC Health promotes health, wellness and equity across the District and protects the safety of residents, visitors and those doing business in our nation's capital. DC Health supports a range of food access programs across the District, including Joyful Food Markets, Produce Plus, Mobile Markets, Healthy Corner Stores, and Produce Rx. For more information, visit www.dchealth.dc.gov
About AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia
AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, a member of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, is a Medicaid managed care health plan that serves more than 100,000 Medicaid recipients living throughout the District of Columbia. Headquartered in the District, AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping members get care, stay well, and build healthy communities. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritasdc.com.
SOURCE Giant Food