FOOD for Lane County Partners with Trillium Community Health Plan to Grow Produce Plus and Veggie Rx Programs

EUGENE, OREGON – (June 25, 2018) – Trillium Community Health Plan is partnering with FOOD For Lane County to expand the Produce Plus Program and improve health through a new pilot project that will integrate free access to fresh produce with Type 2 diabetes prevention education.

As a result of this partnership, Produce Plus is now Trillium Produce Plus and Veggie Rx is now Trillium Veggie Rx.

Thirty-seven percent of Lane County households can’t meet basic needs, and more than one in two children in Lane County do not have enough to eat. (attribution: 2018 ALICE Report released by United Way of Lane County https://foodforlanecounty.org/the-recession-is-not-over-for-working-families/) FFLC and Trillium understand that food insecurity can lead to a variety of health concerns, including Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Working together to combat hunger and chronic health conditions through programs that create access to fresh, nutrient-dense produce for families in need is key to decreasing food insecurity and improving health outcomes in our local communities.

“The kinds of food with which we fuel our bodies are so important to achieving and maintaining good health. That’s why FOOD For Lane County is excited about our new partnership with Trillium,” says Beverlee Potter, FFLC Executive Director. “Our food bank and Trillium serve many of the same individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity. This partnership gives us the ability and opportunity to distribute more produce and help people get healthier.”

“As Trillium’s Chief Medical Officer, I am acutely aware of the health disparities our members face every day,” says Dr. Thomas K. Wuest, MD, MMM. “FOOD for Lane County is helping to reduce such inequities by providing access to fresh, nutritious and ‘homegrown’ food via such programs. Through these and other collaborative efforts we can significantly improve the health of the community.”

The expanded Trillium Produce Plus Program brings fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income families at locations convenient to them, including medical clinics in Lane County. Current sites include Community Health Centers of Lane County, Springfield Family Physicians, Cascade Middle School, Department of Human Services (DHS) offices and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). New sites include Eugene Urgent Care in Junction City and McKenzie River Clinic in Blue River.

Karen Gaffney is a Trillium Board member and Director of Lane County Health and Human Services. “Unfortunately, cost is often a barrier for people trying to eat healthy. By providing fresh produce at no cost, we are making it easier for Trillium members to make healthy nutritional choices.”

The Trillium Veggie Rx program will expand to help address Type 2 diabetes. This new pilot project will integrate free access to fresh food with Type 2 diabetes prevention education through the Trillium Diabetes Prevention Program. Trillium members taking the class will be given vouchers for fruits and vegetables that can be used at FFLC’s Youth Farm Stands.