Now in its second year, CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic in partnership with Houston Food Bank is providing fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods to patients through the Food Rx program. Patients who have a diagnosis of a chronic disease and are screened for food insecurity qualify for the Food Rx program.
They meet with St. Mary’s Clinic nutritionist Jocelyn Branas to learn about selecting and preparing foods to address their chronic condition and to receive a Food Rx ID, which can be used at any Food for Change markets around the city.
For the last six years, Emma Olvera has received her healthcare at CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic with a specific focus on controlling her diabetes. Twenty years ago, Olvera was four months pregnant when she developed gestational diabetes. Post-delivery, the diabetes went away, but over time returned. Working with Dr. Nancy Kwan and nutritionist Jocelyn Branas, Olvera has been able to couple medication and food choices to bring her numbers down.
One other important resource has been the Houston Food Bank market trailer. Having easy access to healthy foods has been a life-changer for Olvera. “The food that the market trailer offers is very good, especially during these trying times,” she said. Twice a month, Olvera is able to pull in to the St. Mary’s parking lot, confirm her food order with a volunteer, and wait in her car for the order to be loaded up.