BURLINGTON – Nutrition Services at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) is currently enrolling eligible Chittenden County patients and families to participate in the free Vermont Health Care Share Program.
The Vermont Health Care Share Program (HCS) is a free patient resource for farm-fresh produce. The statewide program brings together farms, health care facilities and Vermonters. By providing support for home-cooked family meals made with fresh, locally-grown produce, along with information on healthy eating, cooking and living, HCS aims to improve Vermonters health and well-being.
An initiative of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC), this program has made an impressive impact since its inception in 2012 including:
- Over 1,000 Vermont families having participated.
- 400 families participating from five medical center partners in 2019.
- The Farm at VYCC employing 70 youth and young adults statewide to grow food for HCS in 2019.
- Over 52,752 pounds of produce being grown by the VYCC for the HCS.
UVM Medical Center Nutrition Services is actively enrolling eligible patients and their families. This program is free for families who are patients of UVMMC Family Medicine practices in Colchester, Hinesburg, Milton and at Winooski Family Health. This program is meant to support patients and families that have trouble regularly affording fresh produce.
HCS is a free 14-week program that starts in July and runs for 12 consecutive weeks, followed by a monthly fall share distributed in October and November. Each share contains fresh produce from local farms. Shares must be picked up on Thursday afternoons starting at 3 p.m. and are available at the aforementioned four primary care sites in Chittenden County.
If individuals have specific questions about the program, they are directed to speak with their provider and ask for an application. They can also contact the program administrator at (802) 847-3833 or VTHealthCareShare@UVMHealth.org with any questions.
Supporting the program are UVM Medical Center Nutrition Services, the VYCC Annual Fund, Children’s Miracle Network, UVM Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, and Part 2.
Distribution is staffed by dedicated volunteers. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact UVM Medical Center Volunteer Services at (802) 847-3536 or online at UVMHealth.org/MedCenterVolunteer.