VeggieRX provides free vegetables to low-income people and patients in Chicago food deserts
By NICOLE BLACKWOOD CHICAGO TRIBUNE |
AUG 02, 2019 | 4:02 PM
Ashley Moore, a resident of Oak Park with limited income, travels to Maywood each Thursday for fresh produce. The trek is not entirely by choice, she said. Affordable vegetables aren’t readily available in her area, and she’s been focused on healthy eating of late.
But Maywood is a food desert.
Cucumbers and squash from the Veggie RX produce stand, grown by Windy City Harvest, in front of Loyola Medical Center in Maywood on Aug 1, 2019. (Stacey Rupolo / for the Chicago Tribune)
VeggieRX, a program implemented by Windy City Harvest, now in partnership with Loyola Medicine and Proviso Partners for Health, has cropped up to fill the void for Maywood residents and individuals like Moore. The program, which now operates year-round, has branches in Austin and North Lawndale, and is currently tied to Loyola’s Maywood clinic.
“Rather than waiting for an outside grocery store to come in, or somebody, somewhere, to fix the problem, we asked the question: ‘What could our local Maywood community do to create our own local food system?’” said Lena Hatchett, co-founder of Proviso Partners for Health.
Food Justice Supporting the local food system through urban gardening and farm stands