Diabetics get healthy options

Quincy Medical Center and Manet Community Health Center Inc. are teaming up on a pilot program to give people with diabetes access to healthier foods. The program will distribute approximately 900 vouchers to people with diabetes and their families, to be used at farmers markets on the South Shore over the next three months. The voucher slips can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. “The hope is that we will see an improvement in their overall health,” said Sandra McGunigle, spokeswoman for Quincy Medical Center. “Based on the results, we hope to expand it in the future.” The recipients will be patients in Manet’s Clinical Care Management program, which will give vouchers to people weekly or monthly as they come in for check-ups. “Here in Quincy, of our 14,500 patients, 1,317 are diabetic, 707 are pre-diabetic, and 1,740 are obese. . . ,” said Henry Tuttle, Manet’s CEO. “Given these numbers, we can’t take for granted that our patients have a working knowledge of nutritional values, have access to smart food choices, or can afford them, so it’s incumbent upon us to meet our patients where they live, learn how they eat, and help them.”