2022)—After piloting the Farm Fresh Produce Prescription in 2021, ASAP has
expanded the program this season to partner with multiple healthcare access points and local food outlets
in Buncombe and Henderson counties. The program allows healthcare providers to “prescribe” patients
fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms to help treat or prevent diet-related illness. Patients can
redeem prescriptions, totaling $20 to $60 per week, depending on household size, at nine farmers markets
or through The AVL Box, a local food delivery service. The Farm Fresh Produce Prescription is part of
ASAP’s Farm Fresh for Health initiative, which addresses the real and perceived barriers that influence
what we eat and determine health outcomes.
ASAP is currently working with MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center) and Sona Pharmacy to
offer produce prescriptions. In addition, the program is available as a service of the Healthy Opportunities
Pilot with select Medicaid insurance providers. Eligible patients are those who suffer from or are at risk of
developing a diet-related condition and are either eligible for a federal supplemental nutrition program such
as SNAP or enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. Find out more about eligibility and the referral process at
How It Works
Screening and Referral Process
Participating healthcare providers screen patients for program eligibility. Eligible patients are those who suffer from or are at risk of developing a diet-related condition AND meet one of the following criteria: 1) eligible for a federal supplemental nutrition program such as SNAP or free and reduced lunch, or 2) enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. Healthcare providers submit a referral to ASAP via the NCCARE360 UniteUs app. ASAP will follow up directly with a unique Prescription Identification Number.
ASAP is currently partnering with MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center) and Sona Pharmacy to offer produce prescriptions. If you are a patient at MAHEC, talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you are eligible. If you are a patient enrolled in Sona’s Medication Support Program, Sona Access, email [email protected] to find out if you are eligible.
ASAP’s Farm Fresh Produce Prescription is also available as a service of Healthy Opportunities Pilot with select Medicaid insurance providers, listed below. If you think you may be eligible for this program, call the Member Services line listed on your Medicaid card to begin the eligibility assessment and be referred to this program.
- WellCare of North Carolina – 866-799-5318
- AmeriHealth Caritas – 855-375-8811
- Blue Cross Blue Shield (Healthy Blue) – 844-594-5070
- UnitedHealthcare – 800-349-1855
Filling Your Prescription
Farm Fresh Produce Prescriptions can be redeemed weekly. The value of the prescription depends on household size.
- 1-2 members = $20/week
- 3-4 members = $40/week
- 5+ members = $60/week
Redeem your prescription at one of the participating farmers markets listed below. Present your Prescription Identification Number to the staff person at the market information booth in exchange for Farm Fresh Bucks. These are wooden tokens that you can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from any produce vendor at the market. Farm Fresh Bucks do not expire and may be used on other visits or at other markets.
- Asheville City Market, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon
- East Asheville Tailgate Market, Fridays, 3-6 p.m.
- Enka-Candler Tailgate Market, Thursdays, 3-6 p.m.
- Hendersonville Farmers Market, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Mills River Farmers Market, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
- North Asheville Tailgate Market, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon
- River Arts District Farmers Market, Asheville: Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m.
- Weaverville Tailgate Market, Wednesdays, 3-6 p.m.
- West Asheville Tailgate Market, Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Farm Fresh Bucks may also be used at the following markets, though you cannot currently redeem your prescription here.
- Southside Community Farmers Market, First Sundays monthly (July date is July 17), 12-3 p.m.