Platos De Bienestar: Healthy Plates Produce Rx

In partnership with the Santa Cruz Community Health Centers we are piloting a program called Platos de Bienestar: Healthy Plates (Platos). This is a produce prescription program which uses whole, healthy foods to impact public health. The model has been gaining steam around the country for over 10 years. The goals of the Platos program are to increase wellness, food security and sense of community for participants. Program funding comes from the Central California Alliance for Health.

In 2023 60 individuals were enrolled and set goals for healthy eating and many completed the program. In 2024 we will enroll a second cohort that expands upon the pilot year to include the Live Oak, Ben Lomond and Downtown Santa Cruz clinics and four of our five markets.

The Platos program provides clients with a prescription to eat more fruits and vegetables. The prescription can be “filled” at specific farmers markets weekly between May and October 2024. Patients receive $15 worth of tokens each time they visit the farmers market, a maximum of 20 visits over the six-month period. The tokens are specific for fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and fruit/vegetable plants.

Participating markets will also host a series of special events in partnership with the health clinics and program partners including the Live Oak School District and the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. These events have a variety of features such as bilingual story time, market hunts with prizes, art making and food-focused activities including market tours and tastings. In addition, the clinics will host monthly health-related events for participants – those who attend receive an additional $10 in Platos tokens to be spent at the farmers markets.

Contact Nicole with questions or for more information.