Two Community Health Centers are promoting a healthier lifestyle among their patients by providing more access to fresh produce. By partnering with non-profits that work with local farmers, health centers in California and Illinois are educating patients about healthy eating.
For the South Los Angeles community that St. John’s Well Child and Family Center serves, affordability and access to fresh produce can be roadblocks on the path to healthy eating. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, “about 70% of St. John’s adult patients are obese or overweight and only 11% of adults eat the daily recommended fruits and vegetables.”
To help their patients access healthier foods, St. John’s works with a nonprofit to run a produce stand at two of its sites. St. John’s providers even write “prescriptions” for fresh produce to drive home the importance of a healthy diet.
This month the Austin neighborhood PCC Community Wellness Center will open their 3rd Annual Austin Produce Market. Recognizing the need to make up for the neighborhood’s food desert, PCC works with a Chicago nonprofit to offer affordable, local, organic produce to the community. Not only do they offer the community an option for fresh produce, but the PCC AmeriCorps volunteers also provide recipes and healthy eating information while staffing the market. The market runs every Friday from June to August and creates a weekly event in which PCC patients and neighborhood community members can learn more about living a healthier lifestyle.