Nanaimo Foodshare Society Introduces Social Prescription Program

Nanaimo, BC – December 1, 2020 –The Nanaimo Foodshare Society, in partnership with Island Health, is introducing a new Good Food Box Prescription initiative to improve access to healthy food in our community.

Building on Foodshare’s popular Good Food Box program, the new Good Food Box Prescription initiative will see local physicians, dietitians and health professionals be able to “prescribe” a weekly box of fresh fruits and vegetables to their patients to aid their recovery.

“Diet has a huge impact on health, for good and for ill,” says Registered Dietitian and Foodshare Executive Director Jen Cody. “The Good Food Box prescription initiative supports families and their physicians in healthy eating. If we all support healthy eating, we can prevent our families or ourselves from being sick and dying from illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.”

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital will be a key partner in the program. “NRGH Nutrition Services is very pleased to be partnering with Nanaimo Foodshare,” says Heather Tant, Manager, Chronic Disease Management and Nutrition Therapy. “We know that access to adequate and healthy food can reduce the need for hospital admission. The Good Food Box Prescription initiative will help us connect our patients to food resources in the community.”

In addition to Good Food Box access, individuals with more serious food concerns will have access to a “Food Navigator” who will work more closely with them to develop a more intensive food access and food skills plan.

“Nanaimo has a number of food-related resources and supports,” says Food Navigator Brenna Wasylenki, RD(T). “Through this program, we can help ensure people know about them, and help ease any barriers they may be having to access them.”

About Nanaimo Foodshare
Nanaimo Foodshare Society is a registered charity with a long history of working with community partners to address hunger in the community, build food skills, bring the community together to share resources, and build community capacity to provide healthy foods to everyone. Established in 1997 and registered as a charity in 2000, we connect the community with resources, skills, and knowledge to create change that increases healthy food for everyone.

About the McConnell Foundation
The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges. They do so through granting and investing, capacity building, convening, and co-creation with grantees, partners and the public.

About Nourish:

Nourish is a national initiative that supports health care to harness the power of food to build health for people and the planet. Its purpose is to identify, develop and scale innovations that support the transition to resilient, sustainable and equitable food and health systems that recognize the interdependence between human and planetary health. Nourish is currently recruiting a national Anchor Collaborative Cohort of healthcare organization and community teams from across the country to come together in a two-year community of practice. .