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Merced Doctors Issue Prescriptions For Food Under New Program Addressing Family Hunger, Health


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.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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