Doctors in Merced have a new way to treat hunger: issuing prescriptions.
One in three children experiences food insecurity in Merced County: going hungry, not knowing when or where their next meal is coming from, or just not eating right. A new program at Olivewood Pediatrics is putting meals on the table and helping families eat healthier foods.
Dr. Carlos Diaz said the prescription is a voucher that a family can use to receive a 30-pound box of groceries at the Merced County Food Bank. Every young patient is screened and families can receive a box that will feed a family of four every month for a year.
“As far as your child, close to balance with the vegetables and fruit and trying to avoid processed food, I think that’s basically what we recommend for every child,” Diaz said.
A $90,000 grant from the Central California Alliance for Health with the support of the Valley Children’s Healthcare is funding the program.