HOUSTON - A program offered through a hospital in Houston is helping low-income families get access to fresh produce that they cannot afford.
The organization, Wholesome Wave, is working with Target and local farmers' markets to help 300 families in Houston get fruits and vegetables they desperately need in their diet.
They get a fruit and vegetable prescription, coupons that equal about $1 per day, per family member, for fresh produce.
Lisa Kimmey-Walker, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Memorial Hermann Health Centers for Schools in Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, said many of the young kids she cares for have high cholesterol, blood pressure and are pre-diabetic but they are counting on the coupons to break the cycle.
"Our families have been very, very receptive of the program and the children are eating the fruits and vegetables. When they come in for their follow-up, I ask them 'about how many fruits and vegetables do you eat now?' Many of them were at zero when we started and now they're eating five, which is the national target. Which very few children are able to achieve," Kimmey-Walker said.
The only requirement to stay in the program is that the families have to attend three classes to learn how to read nutrition labels and how to better incorporate vegetables into their daily meals.
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