“Approximately 60 percent of children in Flint are living in poverty and don’t consume enough nutrient-dense food, which is critical to their healthy development,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “The Rite Aid Foundation is proud to support this initiative and provide Flint-area children with access to fresh, high-quality produce that we hope not only helps to improve their overall health, but also guides them on a lifelong path to good nutrition.”
Any child over the age of six months who visits Hurley’s Children Center, which is located on the second floor of the downtown Flint Farmers’ Market, is eligible to participate in the Nutrition Prescription Program. At every visit, children are given a prescription order that can be redeemed for $15 of fresh fruits and vegetables at the Flint Farmers’ Market, or Flint Fresh Mobile Market, which offers delivery of locally grown produce to families in Flint who cannot travel to the downtown market.
“Flint has a limited number of full-service grocery stores within city limits. As a result, many impoverished children are consuming poor-quality, calorie-dense foods and are not receiving the nutrients they need,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, founder and director of the Michigan State University (MSU) and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. “Early childhood is an important time to establish healthy eating habits. Thanks to the generous and continuing support of The Rite Aid Foundation, our pediatric patients are gaining access to healthy foods that provide the nutrients they need to grow up healthy and happy and succeed in life.”
The Nutrition Prescription Program has been so successful, the MSU-Hurley Pediatric Public Health Initiative has expanded the program to another pediatric office in Flint. And just this week, inspired by Flint’s success and thanks to the leadership of Michigan’s United States Senator Debbie Stabenow, the U.S. Farm Bill now includes support for a national Nutrition Prescription program.
Through KidCents, members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar and give their change to one of more than 440 nonprofit organizations focused on improving the health and wellbeing of children. For more information, visit www.kidcents.com.
Since its inception in 2001, The Rite Aid Foundation has awarded more than $36 million to nonprofit organizations. Additionally, Rite Aid, through the efforts of its customers, supplier partners and associates, has also raised more than $87 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country since 1994.