“Fruit and veg on prescription” to combat ill health and poverty
The Alexandra Rose Charity and two London boroughs have launched the first large-scale “Fruit & Veg on Prescription” project, aimed at tackling health inequality and food poverty as part of a £250,000 pilot. The projects will be delivered in partnership with the Bromley by Bow Centre in Tower Hamlets, one of the earliest pioneers of social prescribing, and by The Beacon Project in Lambeth.
Trials in the boroughs, which both have high rates of chronic disease, will explore the viability of fruit and veg on prescription as a long-term solution to tackling diet-related ill health and food insecurity. The project launches as food prices continue to soar and fresh food inflation has reached a record 13.3%.
Each beneficiary of the scheme will be prescribed Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg and will receive up to £8 per week in vouchers, plus £2 per week for each household member. Participants can spend their Rose Vouchers on the fruit and veg of their choice with local retailers and market traders. In Tower Hamlets, they will also be invited to take part in monthly healthy lifestyle group sessions to improve their understanding of nutrition and health.
“Fruit & Veg on Prescription is an idea whose time has come,” said Jonathan Pauling, chief executive at Alexandra Rose Charity.