Food Is Medicine: a free, fresh produce program

Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 5:18 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - While medication comes in many forms such as capsules, liquids, or injections there’s an alternative form Fairbanks residents use.

“Sometimes it not about prescribing the medication, sometimes it’s about prescribing a lifestyle change. But what do you do if the lifestyle change is not something you can afford.

“Food is Medicine” is the name of a free, fresh produce food program the Fairbanks Community Food Bank and local doctors have partnered together to offer folks in our community. The idea is to bring those with health conditions good quality, fresh produce in hopes of helping them toward a healthy lifestyle, according to Fairbanks Community Food Bank CEO, Anne Weaver.

“It was met with a lot of excitement from the doctors, and here we are, four years later we provide food to 80 to 90 people each day, that can come in and pick up to six pounds of produce. The only way to pick up the food is if you are medically referred. So basically, if a doctor writes a prescription for produce, they write it to the food bank and we’re able to share the gifts of this community and help to make your day better, and hopefully your health better, and life just a little bit easier,” Weaver said.

Of course, produce aside, prescribed medications in the forms of those listed above, still hold validity and have their place in terms of alleviating symptoms of illness and/or ailments. While it is always encouraged that everyone, whether with a health condition or not, practice a balanced diet. This program assists those who are referred with conditions that can be improved with eating healthier foods.

The program is ran out of the Fairbanks Community Food Bank’s Volunteer Clubhouse at 2216 S. Cushman S. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information can be found on their website or at 907-457-4273.