Providing access to healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, has been identified as a major concern for many residents of Lucas County. As a result, ProMedica and Toledo Seagate Food Bank are partnering together to help address this community concern. A recent proposal by the two partners has been accepted to receive funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants.
The additional grant funding will allow Seagate to expand their mobile Farm Market from the current 16 sites to reach a total of 28 sites throughout Lucas County by July 2015. The Seagate Farm Market is a wagon that transports locally grown fruits and vegetables to underserved areas in Lucas County and sells the produce at a low cost.
The mobile market, which has operated for the last 3 years, will expand to a variety of senior centers, housing complexes, and community sites to bring affordable, healthy food to low-income neighborhoods. The market will continue to accept Senior Farmer’s Market Coupons, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits.
In addition to the site expansion, the grant funds will also support an added nutrition education component. ProMedica will lead nutrition efforts at the various mobile sites and provide education from a registered dietitian on a regular basis. Recipe cards, nutrition signage, and healthy eating information will supplement the sale of the fruits and vegetables in order to encourage community members to consume a variety of local produce at meals and follow an overall healthy lifestyle.
By providing access to fresh produce in combination with nutrition and cooking resources, Seagate and ProMedica hope to lift up the nutrition and health of the communities they work within.
Chloe Plummer, MS, RD, LD, is a clinical dietitian with ProMedica Advocacy and Community Health, and her main passion is promoting childhood and adolescent health and wellness. She has a bachelor of science degree in Health and Sport Studies from Miami University and a master of science degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University.