It is great when local businesses and organizations partner together to make things happen in southeastern Ohio. An example of this is a recent partnership between Way Farms, Adena Health System, and the Pike County Local Foods Group.

The Pike County Local Foods Group is working with Adena and Way Farms to provide local fresh produce to county residents via a program, known as Food Rx. This partnership allows Adena physicians and nurse practitioners to prescribe fresh, local produce vouchers for their patients. Then, patients can redeem the vouchers at Way Farms Market in Waverly and take home fresh produce. Patients who qualify and are prescribed a Food Rx will receive a $15 voucher.

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for stroke, cancer, heart diseases and type-2 diabetes. This voucher program allows patients access not only to fresh produce but local produce.

In addition to the Food Rx program, individuals who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are encouraged to bring their Ohio Direction card to Way Farms Market. SNAP recipients are eligible to scan at least $10 in Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) at the market and Adena will match an additional $10 in fresh produce.

Way Farms partners with other local producers in order to provide a variety of local produce to their customers. Local producer partners include: Hirsch Fruit Farm and Van Meter Farm. The Waverly market is located at 403 E. Emmitt Avenue.

Adena Health System provides the funds to support the vouchers and the matching amount which in turn bring revenue to support local growers. This is truly a win-win-win collaboration.

Another project for this group is a newly-published Pike County Local Foods Directory which includes local businesses providing locally grown, produced, or made products available in Pike County. The directory can be found at local businesses or at https://pike.osu.edu/sites/pike/files/imce/Program_Pages/FCS/fixed%20local%20foods.pdf

The Pike County Local Foods group meets monthly at the Endeavor Center located at 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. For more information about the group contact Tammy Jones at 740-289-4837 or jones.5640@osu.edu

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