HAN member Fairview Health Services’ Health East is working with the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) in St. Paul, Minnesota to provide access to healthy food for families experiencing food insecurity who are economically challenged to put healthy food on the table. This is particularly vital for people struggling with chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Veggie Rx serves disadvantaged individuals including refugees who are referred to the program by HealthEast doctors by delivering free Community Supported Agriculture vegetables to four HealthEast clinics where patients can pick them up. By partnering with HAFA to supply these vegetables, the program’s procurement design also helps address underlying economic determinants of community health.
HAFA was created to address economic disparities for immigrant and urban farmers. For instance, Hmong farmers have less access to land and on average make $5,000 in sales per acre, compared to white farmers who make $8,000 per acre. Veggie Rx has been tremendously successful and is a win-win for the patients, farmers, and community.