Lunch Bags for Mille Lacs County Produce Influencing Communities and Kids (PICK) Bucks Program  


Project Goals

To help children form healthier eating habits by encouraging them to pick out their own fruits and vegetables.

Project Description

A social worker from Mille Lacs County Public Health reached out to one of Medica’s Community Engagement Managers about Medica’s interest in purchasing reusable bags and cold packs to keep perishables cool for the PICK Bucks program. The aim was for children and youth under 18 to receive $2 bucks by Mille Lacs County staff at a free lunch program, outreach event or farmers market. These PICK bucks can be redeemed only for fresh fruit and veggies at their three local markets. Medica determined that an insulated lunch bag would best meet the needs of the program, and we searched for an item that would serve this purpose and appeal to the kids.

On July 19, 2019, Medica provided 500 lunch bags to the county. Each week, the county focuses on a public health concern or goal. Examples to date have included: what type of fish is healthy to eat and how often, safety in the digital age (teen specific), emergency preparedness, sun safety, child and teen checkups and being active. The lunch bags will be paired with a children’s book focused on food.

Entities Involved

Medica, Mille Lacs County Public Health.

How Health Plans Support the Project

Medica helped fund the purchase of reusable insulated lunch bags for the Mille Lacs County PICK Bucks program.


Beatriz Martinez

Community Engagement Manager