In January 2017, Tucson Village Farm (TVF) initiated an innovative partnership with UA's College of Medicine and El Rio Health Centers. The result was the FARMacy program: a ground-breaking prevention program designed to facilitate the connection between health and nutrition within the most vulnerable and underserved members of our community, and those highest at risk for childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other nutrition-related diseases. In July, 2017, the partnership, through the TVF, was awarded a two-year seed grant through the Haury Foundation and has since been piloting the FARMacy program through the fall semester with tremendous results.
Through the FARMacy program, families at the Northwest El Rio Health Center are referred to TVF through a written prescription issued by a pediatrician. At the farm, families receive hands-on farm-to-table nutrition education and culinary programming, fresh produce, gardening tips, and an opportunity to significantly reduce their risk—and their children's risk—of developing nutrition-based diseases by incorporating healthy food into their diets. Parents and children learn side by side, ensuring that this critical information finds its way back into the family kitchen, pantry, and grocery store, where prevention begins. The patient families receive further programming and coaching from TVF and El Rio representatives on FARMacy clinic days at the Northwest El Rio Health Center.
To learn more about the FARMacy program, please contact Leza Carter, Program Coordinator for the new FARMacy program.