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Doctors ‘prescribe’ fresh produce with help from food banks

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OAK FOREST, ILL.(AP) – Six health clinics are working with the Chicago food bank to host a mobile pantry filled with fresh produce – a trend increasingly seen nationwide as food banks try to improve the diets of poor people with chronic health issues.

The clinics have hosted 26 “Fresh Truck” visits with the Greater Chicago Food Depository since last year, providing more than 100,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to more than 3,200 households.

Feeding America, a network of 200 U.S. food banks, says 30 food banks are working with health care providers nationwide to identify low-income patients who sometimes run out of food.

James Cline of suburban Chicago picked up fresh fruits and vegetables Thursday at Oak Forest Health Center. He has diabetes and says the produce will help him stick to his diet.