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

Every day, Farm Corps Members engage in work that increases food security for Vermonters. Our crews work hard to grow, glean, pack, and deliver vegetables for the Health Care Share program, which provides food-insecure families with fresh food and nutrition education at their doctor’s office. Each week of the growing season, around 400 families receive a share of vegetables and herbs grown by Vermont youth in their communities.

The Health Care Share (HCS) is a farm-to-hospital public health program that connects Vermont families with fresh, healthy food and nutrition education at their doctor’s office. Health care providers at partnering medical centers identify patient families experiencing food insecurity, diet-related illness, or other distinct health risks and prescribe a more nutritious diet with a Health Care Share: 15 weeks of fresh fruits and vegetables. In each community, VYCC Farm crews grow and distribute shares to local family practices, medical centers, and community clinics.

Each share contains 12 to 15 pounds of diverse produce, a weekly newsletter, and a whole frozen chicken (in some locations). Volunteers and health professionals at some pick-up sites offer tasting samples and cooking demonstrations. All members also receive a resource binder with recipes, basic cooking tutorials, and nutrition information. Through these programs, members gain tools for maintaining a healthy diet and shopping for fresh food. This unique approach to preventative medicine and public health is provided to all HCS Members.

Contact Lily Bradburn, Community Health Program Manager, to learn how to bring the Health Care Share to your community.

Interested in contributing to your food system? Get involved by volunteering!

Each share comes with a handcrafted newsletter full of share information, Farm Team updates, recipes, and more!

Read more about each week’s share here.

In a state of 626,000 people, 64,000 Vermonters (10%) are food-insecure—they lack regular access to nutritious foods. Children in particular 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.