Roots to Prevention believes that a healthcare provider’s fresh foods prescription program can strengthen urban agriculture in low-income areas. This investment is possible when institutions supplement their patients’ supply of fruits and vegetables from neighborhood gardens. Increasing a hospital’s demand for local, healthy food production can reduce inequities in hunger and incidence of diet-related illnesses while at the same time–support new sources of income, revitalize vacant lands, and promote economic development.


BUILD and its communities apply bold, upstream, integrated, local, and data-driven (BUILD) approaches to improve health in communities that are adversely affected by upstream factors.


Roots to Prevention (RTP) believes that the healthcare sector already has the resources to support a healthy local food economy. Health insurance programs supported through Medicaid’s Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) can promote urban farming ventures and programming while healthcare facilities provide the demand for its produce.


Encouraging for-profit food growing alleviates contributing factors to chronic illnesses associated with “food insecure” households. These factors include: lack of access to fresh produce; limited income to purchase healthier food options; low demand to support local fresh food growers; and, fragmented gardening and nutrition programming. RTP’s partners have the capacity to address all four.


RTP seeks to unite Camden gardening organizations and neighboring healthcare providers to participate in a citywide Food Bucks Prescription (FBRx) and Hospital Produce Subscription (HPS) program. Because of partners like the Health Department and local non-profits, RTP is also connecting residents to both programs beyond the healthcare provider’s patient population.


RTP has identified 10 key steps to ensuring residents have a direct role in the ongoing implementation of programs and decision-making process. RTP employs a staff that is responsible for resident engagement and hosting steering committee meetings for keeping residents informed and providing feedback. The RTP Public Engagement team will also maintain an active presence among Camden’s existing health and gardening coalitions, building off of pre-existing collaborative efforts.


RTP first gathers and manages baseline data from community-based, educational and healthcare institutions. Second, new program data collected and incorporated into this collaborative database occurs through the FBRx and HPS intervention study. An RTP Data Evaluations Team was established to steward this process, its data-use and sharing agreement, provide data-visualization deliverables including mapping and conduct ongoing program evaluations. This team also provides quarterly public participatory information sessions on progress and findings.