Keiki Produce Prescription (KPRx) Program Feasibility Study to Reduce Food Insecurity and Obesity Risk

Country: United States
State / Locale: Hawai`i
Population: NHOPI Children
Community Engagement (IAP2 Spectrum): Involve
Equity: People Place Process

Study Description:
This feasibility study focused on a community-based program called Keiki Produce Rx (KPRx) on the Wai‘anae Coast of O‘ahu. The program aimed to improve nutrition among children by providing parents with prescriptions to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the Mākeke Farmers’ Market. The community has a high proportion of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) residents. The Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) is the main healthcare provider in the area and supports community food pantries and the Mākeke Farmers’ (MF) Market, which accepts SNAP benefits. The Keiki Produce Rx program provided eligible children aged 2 to 17 years, who were identified as having poor nutrition, with a prescription (Rx). The Rx was worth $72 in fresh fruits and vegetables ($24 per month for 3 months). Parents or guardians could bring the Rx to the MF Market to exchange it for vouchers worth $24 per month for three months, which they could use to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from MF Market vendors. Participants in the program enjoyed the financial support for buying healthy food, the involvement of their children in independently redeeming the FVRx (Fruits and Vegetables Prescription), the variety of fruits and vegetables available for purchase, and the experience of attending farmers markets. This intervention was designed with a purposeful approach, focusing on meeting the specific needs of the community. To achieve this, the researchers collaborated with clinic providers, the Wai'anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) Community Advisors Group, and sought feedback directly from the community. This involvement ensured that the development of the future protocol was driven by the perspectives and input of the community members themselves.

Esquivel, M. K., Higa, A., Hitchens, M., Shelton, C., & Okihiro, M. (2020). Keiki produce prescription (KPRx) program feasibility study to reduce food insecurity and obesity risk. Hawai'i Journal of Health & Social Welfare, 79(5 Suppl 1), 44.