At the root of good health is good, fresh food.

Corps Members’ hard work results in the Health Care Share (HCS), which provides food-insecure Vermonters with nutritional education, medical care, and local farm-fresh food. Each week of the growing season, more than 400 families receive a share of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and pasture-raised poultry.

Medical professionals at Central Vermont, University of Vermont, Rutland Regional, and Southwest Vermont Medical Centers identify patient and employee families who are experiencing hunger or a diet related illness. Health care providers “prescribe” fresh vegetables and a more nutritious diet for their patients – a unique approach to preventative medicine and public health. Food then is distributed to member-families through primary care clinics.

Through classes and workshops, HCS participants gain tools to maintain a healthy diet, shop on a budget, and cook and eat fresh food. Weekly newsletters include farm news and recipe information, and Hunger Free Vermont’s The Learning Kitchen is available to participants.

Every day on the farm, we engage young people in work that increases food security for all Vermonters. Vermont is the 9th hungriest state in the nation. In a state of 626,000 people, 90,000 Vermonters (14%) are food-insecure. Children living in food insecure homes are at greater risk for poor health, developmental delays, poor academic achievement, depression, and aggressive or hyperactive behavior. Lack of access to, or familiarity with, fresh produce and poultry are barriers to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

See locations where the Health Care Share is available.

Contact Paul Feenan at paul.feenan@vycc.org to learn how to bring HCS to your community.