NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Chances are, you’ve heard about “farm to table,” but what about “pharmacy to farm?”
A city-run program is connecting low-income residents with medicine straight from Mother Nature.READ MORE: Wild Roll To Win Against Devils
Jose Rivera is picking up prescription medicine to help with two things.
“High blood pressure, diabetes,” the Inwood resident said.
For years, Rivera has been getting his medicine from Dyckman Pharmacy. Now he’s delighted to learn he can get another thing to help stay healthy – a free prescription for fruits and vegetables.
“I’m looking forward to getting this every month.”
The New York City Health Department recently announced the expansion of its “pharmacy to farm prescription program” to 16 pharmacies. It grants more low-income New Yorkers with high blood pressure a “prescription” for fruits and vegetables.
“All the fruits and vegetables have antioxidants and that really helps people with problems like high blood pressure,” Abid Nadeem, the supervising pharmacist at Dyckman Pharmacy said.READ MORE: DeRozan, LaVine Help Bulls Hang On To Beat Knicks
Nadeem says he invested nearly $3,000 of his own money to get the word out in Inwood about the program.
“We did the flyers with our own funds and distributed them in the local neighborhood through mail order.”
The monthly voucher is worth $30 and can be redeemed at local farmers markets less than a mile from each participating pharmacy.
“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to choose between medication and eating healthy,” Jeni Clapp of the city’s health department said.
According to officials, one in four adult New Yorkers reportedly have high blood pressure and one in five are on food stamps.
“It’s important to take medication but it’s also important to make changes in your life and so if you want to eat healthy and don’t have the resources to do that, this program helps,” Clapp added.
To be eligible, New Yorkers need to be participating in SNAP or food stamps and have a prescription for high blood pressure.MORE NEWS: Karlsson Scores In OT To Give Sharks Win Over Islanders
To see if your local pharmacy participates, click here.