News Release
Posted by The MolinaCares Accord

The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation and Molina Healthcare of Iowa Donates $30,000 in Support of the Iowa Produce Prescription Program

Ben Jackey,, 502-377-9484

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 25, 2023 – The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Molina Healthcare of Iowa (“Molina”), presented $30,000 to the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative to help fund its Iowa Produce Prescription Program. Viewing food as medicine, the program allows providers to prescribe fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals to improve health outcomes.  

The Iowa Produce Prescription Program focuses on low-income adults with diet-related disease without access to nutritious foods. America’s Health Rankings show that statewide, only 6.7% of the adult population in Iowa reported consuming two or more fruits and three or more vegetables per day. This number is even lower (5.1%) for adults with an annual household income of less than $25,000. 

Working in collaboration with the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, physicians at three rural federally qualified health centers – Community Health Center of Fort Dodge, People’s Community Health Clinic in Waterloo, and Community Health Center of Southeast Iowa in Burlington and Keokuk – will identify and enroll patients meeting the criteria. Eligible patients may suffer from ailments like diabetes or hypertension. Each month, those participating will engage in nutrition education lessons and receive $30 per month/per household member to be used toward the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

“Molina is proud to support this effort that addresses a critical social determinant of health – food insecurity,” said Jennifer Vermeer, plan president of Molina Healthcare of Iowa. “Not only does this program increase food access, but it also educates individuals on how to turn healthy choices into healthy habits. This is a major step forward for community health in underserved areas.” 

To determine effectiveness, participants’ biometric data will be measured at the start of the program, including blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, and body mass index. The Iowa Produce Prescription Program pilot in 2022 saw a group of nearly 200 individuals record decreases cholesterol and average blood sugar levels.  

“We are grateful for the support of the Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation and Molina Healthcare of Iowa.” said Jami Haberl, executive director of Iowa Healthiest State Initiative. “Produce prescription programs have been shown to increase access to nutritious foods in communities at risk for diet-related chronic health conditions.”  

The check presentation was made at the 5-1-2-0 Health Choices Count! Summit, sponsored in part by Molina Healthcare of Iowa.