"Moira Mencher and Colleen Monaghan"HARRIS, NY (May 8, 2024) —  Garnet Health, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, is pleased to announce the launch of the new FreshRx Produce Prescription Program, offered to qualified community members in Sullivan and Orange counties. The program is designed to increase produce consumption and educate community members on how to make impactful lifestyle changes that will lead to improved health.

In Sullivan County, 11.5% of the population lives with food insecurity. In Orange County, that number is 9.8%. Additionally, 34% of Sullivan County’s adults are obese, with 28% self-reporting they do not participate in physical activity. In Orange County, 29% of adults are obese, and 30% of adults ages 20 and older self-reported no time for physical activity. 

Eligible recipients will receive a $20 food voucher redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables from various local participating farmers markets in Orange and Sullivan counties.

To receive the produce vouchers, eligible participants must:

  • Participate in or be eligible for SNAP and Medicaid .
  • Live in Sullivan or Orange County.
  • Participate in (or complete) Garnet Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program or one of the approved nutrition or physical activity classes offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County. 

“Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County is pleased to partner with Garnet Health to address health outcomes and food insecurity through a connection with local farms. Together, we know we’ll make a big impact on people’s wellness while keeping local dollars circulating here in our community,” said Colleen Monaghan, executive director, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County.

The goals of the FreshRx Produce Prescription Program are to:

  • Improve health outcomes in Sullivan and Orange counties through increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce individual and household food insecurity.
  • Reduce healthcare use and associated costs.

“Access to food plays such a vital role in living a healthy lifestyle. But those who face food insecurity are often forced to choose between food and other essentials,” said Moira Mencher, director of planning and community relations for Garnet Health. “With this program, we want to remove barriers, allowing community members easier access to healthy foods like fruits and vegetables from our local farmers, while also teaching them how to maintain healthy habits.”

The FreshRx Produce Prescription Program is made possible by the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). Funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), GusNIP provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that help low-income consumers access and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables through “cash” incentives that increase their purchasing power at locations like farmers markets.

Please visit Cornell Cooperative Extension for more information about the FreshRx Program or available classes. 

For those with prediabetes who are interested in learning more, visit Garnet Health’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

About Garnet Health 

Garnet Health is a New York State not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Middletown, New York, approximately 60 miles northwest of New York City. It is the corporate parent of Garnet Health Medical Center, Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills, Garnet Health Doctors, Garnet Health Urgent Care, Garnet Health Foundation and Garnet Health Foundation – Catskills. Garnet Health is dedicated to developing specialty services, medical programs and needed healthcare services that allow residents to remain close to home to receive quality care.

Providing healthcare to approximately 500,000 residents in Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties, Garnet Health was designed to improve the quality, stability and efficiency of healthcare services in the mid-Hudson and Catskills region. Garnet Health provides the services of more than 4,000 employed professionals and over 850 medical staff members. An academic affiliate of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Garnet Health retains compassionate professionals who continually strive toward the hospital’s mission to improve the health of our community by providing exceptional healthcare. To learn more about Garnet Health, visit

About Cornell Cooperative Extension

Since 1913, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC) has responded to the needs of local residents with unbiased, research-based information, tools and education that people have come to depend on and trust. Our programs are developed in direct response to community input and are based on the most current information available from Cornell and other land-grant universities from across the nation. Our mission is to put knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being. We bring local experience and research-based solutions together, helping families and communities of New York state thrive in our rapidly changing world.