GILLY VENDING SPONSORS INNOVATIVE HEALTHY FOOD PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                 

GILLY VENDING SPONSORS INNOVATIVE HEALTHY FOOD PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM                                                                              

Program provides prescriptions for fruits and vegetables to combat chronic, diet-related disease

 ATLANTA, GA — Gilly Vending supports Wholesome Wave Georgia as a sponsor of the 2017 Fruit & Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Program at Grady Hospital and Morehouse School of Medicine. The FVRx Program gives families innovative prescriptions that can be spent on fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets. Run by Wholesome Wave Georgia (WWG), FVRx promotes affordable access to fruits and vegetables and healthy eating in underserved communities through partnerships with healthcare providers, community organizations and fresh produce retailers.

          Over the course of the six-month program, patients suffering from food insecurity and chronic, diet-related disease participate in weekly cooking and nutrition education classes, set healthy eating goals with their doctors, and receive prescriptions for fruits and vegetables. Participant’s weekly prescriptions are worth $1 a day for each member of their household, which for a family of four adds up to $28 a week in produce.

“Gilly Vending helped the FVRx Program grow and thrive in Atlanta,” said Sara Berney, Executive Director of WWG. “We are grateful for their commitment to promoting healthy food options in Atlanta’s communities.”

Support from Gilly Vending made the program more accessible to participants at Grady and Morehouse; free MARTA passes helped participants get to and from their doctor’s visits and cooking and nutrition classes. “We are happily committed to making a substantial impact by supporting organizations that truly make a difference such as Wholesome Wave Georgia does when it comes to promoting healthy options and providing outreach programs that assist and benefit the community,” said Gilda Rosenberg, CEO of Gilly Vending. The passes also gave participants access to the Fresh MARTA Markets, where their prescriptions are redeemed for fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

The FVRx Program has a demonstrated impact, resulting in healthier communities, food systems, and local economies. With their prescriptions, participants purchased over $16,000 worth of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Across Grady Hospital and Morehouse School of Medicine, 40 program participants completed the program; on average, participants saw a decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, and blood pressure.

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 About Gilly Vending, Inc.

Gilly Vending is the largest independently owned vending company in the United States. An WBE / MBE / ACDBE certified company serving prestigious college, university, hospital, military and transportation locations in over 45 states nationwide. Gilly Vending delivers market-responsive strategies that are developed to drive down costs,
enhance revenues and build a foundation of lasting customer service performance. Vetted and trusted with over three decades of industry experience, Gilly offers full line cutting-edge technologically advanced automated snack and beverage solutions in addition to automated micro market concepts. For more information: www.gillyusa.com

 About Wholesome Wave Georgia

Wholesome Wave Georgia believes that all Georgians should have access to fresh, wholesome and locally grown food. Founded in 2009, WWG strives to strengthen local food communities by empowering networks of farmers to facilitate access to and awareness of healthy food choices. By increasing the affordability of healthy, locally grown foods, WWG makes healthy, nourishing choices accessible for Georgia’s food insecure population. WWG realizes its mission through two core programs: Georgia Fresh For Less and the Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program. More information is at www.wholesomewavegeorgia.org.

 

CONTACT: 

Mary Diorio | mary@gillyvending.com | 786.877.4453

Emme Raus | emme@wholesomewavegeorgia.org | 404.551.5996

Celebrate National Farmers Market Week!

On August 3, USDA Secretary and former Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Sonny Perdue, declared August 6-12 as National Farmers Market Week. Communities across the country will celebrate farmers, producers, and farmers markets that provide access to fresh, local food. This week, we’d like to celebrate our Georgia Fresh for Less partner markets that work to make their communities a stronger, healthier place to live. Georgia Fresh for Less farmers markets increase access to local food, stimulate their local economies and support healthy communities. 

The Georgia Fresh for Less program at farmers markets makes fresh, local food more affordable to low-income families across the state. Over 1.5 million Georgians receive SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits each month. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive for families with a limited food budget, leaving them a limited choice when it comes to healthy foods. To stretch limited food budgets, families often rely on high-calorie, low-nutrient foods that are cheaper and give you the best bang for your buck. Georgia Fresh for Less aims to make fresh food more affordable by matching SNAP benefits, dollar for dollar, at 60 participating farmers markets across Georgia. Year over year, this collaborative effort between farmers, market managers and Wholesome Wave Georgia positively impacts struggling families: 100% of Georgia Fresh for Less shoppers felt that the program made fresh, local food more affordable to them.  

Over 80% of SNAP benefits are spent on groceries at big box retailers and direct money away from our local economies, while farmers markets serve as fresh food retailers that stimulate our local economies. For every $100 spent at a local farmers market, $62 stays in the local economy and $99 stays in the state economy. Imagine if every SNAP recipient spent $10 a month at their local farmers market. That would result in a $14,850,000 investment into Georgia’s local economy every month. 

Georgia Fresh for Less leverages government nutrition programs to incentivize SNAP spending at farmers markets, investing those SNAP benefits into the local economy. For every $10 a SNAP recipients spends at a Georgia Fresh for Less farmers market they purchase $20 worth of fresh food from local farmers and producers. Vendors at Georgia Fresh for Less farmers markets report a 19% increase in their revenue since participating in the program. 

Unlike many big box retailers, farmers markets put fresh fruits and vegetables front and center during the shopping experience. This celebration of local produce facilitates healthy choices and creates an engaging community that is good for the body and mind. We know eating a diet that contains fresh produce is good for our physical health, but many of us don’t realize that the social experience of shopping at a farmers market is good for our mental health. A study by the Project for Public Spaces revealed that people who shop at farmers markets have 15 to 20 social interactions per visit, while they would only have one or two per visit to the grocery store. Nearly 90% of Georgia Fresh for Less shoppers reported increased feelings of community engagement. Evidence of the clear correlations between social interaction and health mean the social space at farmers markets has important public health implications. 

This Farmers Market week, we’d like to thank all of the market managers and farmers that put fresh, local food on the tables of families across Georgia. Their hard work helps Georgians eat healthy, engage with their community, and invest in their local economies.