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How prescription produce can revolutionize healthcare access

planet harvest food as medicine box
A Planet Harvest Food as Medicine box.

Prescription produce is on a mission to reshape healthcare by proactively addressing diseases like heart disease and diabetes through dietary management. Shocking statistics reveal that only 1 in 10 Americans consume the recommended fresh produce, while 8 out of 10 healthcare dollars treat preventable chronic diseases. This shift underscores the preventive potential of a nutritious diet, extending beyond conventional medications.

The National Produce Prescription Collaborative notes a rising trend in healthcare providers and insurers advocating for these prescriptions among eligible patients facing health risks or food insecurity. With over 100 pilot programs nationwide, spanning Medicaid, Medicare, private employers, and federal healthcare systems, this movement is expanding rapidly—and Planet Harvest is excited to be a part of it.

Melissa Ackerman, CEO of Planet Harvest

Revolutionizing Healthcare Accessibility

Planet Harvest is spearheading innovation in healthcare accessibility, partnering with entities like UT Health and impactful nonprofits such as Brighter Bites to enhance fresh produce availability within communities.

Community-Centric Approach: Addressing Inequalities

Going beyond typical delivery methods, Planet Harvest deeply integrates itself within communities. Through strategic alliances with distributors and dedicated nonprofits, the company distributes fresh produce in innovated access points in rural areas, religious establishments, community centers and shelters.

Cutting-edge Delivery Solutions

Resourceful in their approach, Planet Harvest is in enhancing healthcare accessibility by leveraging their established network of distributors and last-mile solutions. For instance, their introduction of mobile food ‘farmacies’ utilizes assets from distributor partners, strategically parking them within five miles of the patient’s residence and deploying last-mile delivery solutions directly to their doorsteps.

Filling Critical Gaps in Healthcare Delivery

Recognizing the shortcomings in current infrastructure, Planet Harvest steps in to bridge these gaps, positioning itself as a driving force in transforming healthcare through prescription produce.

Planet Harvest actively works to move products into commerce that were historically considered unsaleable through its affiliated distribution network, thereby minimizing the environmental and economic impacts of food losses.


Melissa Ackerman is the founder and CEO of Planet Harvest, a mission-based company dedicated to revolutionizing the way people enjoy fresh produce. Committed to driving consumption and accessibility, the company focuses on refining supply chains and introducing rescued produce into daily lives, all while championing a sustainable future. With over 14 years of leadership experience in the produce industry, Melissa Ackerman possesses a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing growers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and healthcare providers. Her passion lies in finding the right balance between doing business and doing good, all the while seeking innovative solutions to improve the quality and accessibility of fresh, nutritious food.