Fruits of One’s Labor: An Analysis of Prescription Produce Programs and Community Gardening in Hispanic Communities




González, Victoria

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By 2035, the United States population will be 25 percent Hispanic, making them the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group. They are also the demographic most affected by chronic disease, with many suffering from diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol, to name a few. Often, the prognosis of these diseases is associated with social determinants of health, such as education status, household income, and family size. Hispanics have among the lowest obtainment of higher education, lower household incomes, and larger family sizes due to cultural practices like multigenerational households. Because there is less income and more mouths to feed, it can become easy to trade off the quality of food for the quantity of food. Food insecurity is an issue that especially impacts vulnerable populations, as they are unable to purchase quality food that could potentially prevent chronic disease prognosis. The Food is Medicine movement has come about as a way to provide food to food insecure individuals, and has made its way to Waco Family Medicine to serve especially vulnerable populations here. What started in 2017 as a prescription produce and community gardening intervention has now become an intervention that provides produce for individuals to utilize, as well as educational courses on how to prepare the produce and even grow it on their own. This is a beneficial intervention to help a large Hispanic community in Waco treat their diseases, prevent others from surfacing, and provide education for future generations to change health status outcomes.