Local Farmers Team Up with AHA to Farm it Forward
Last winter, farmers Ben Shields and Patricia Parker of Ben’s Produce initiated conversations with Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) about providing shares of locally grown, healthy produce to people in need in Wake County. The result was the creation of Farm it Forward, a community shared agriculture (CSA) program for Wake County citizens who need extra help as they work to improve their nutrition due to health concerns.
AHA worked with ENERGIZE!, a WakeMed Children’s Diabetes & Endocrinology program, to identify families in need of healthy foods. ENERGIZE! helps kids, ages 6 to 18, reduce risks for developing type 2 diabetes by teaching families how to build lifelong healthy attitudes about nutrition and physical fitness.
Thanks to the collaborative effort between AHA, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (IFFS), WakeMed, and local farms including Ben’s Produce and New Grass Gardens, five ENERGIZE! families are receiving free CSA local produce this summer. Additionally, participating families are taking a free six-week IFFS Cooking Matters class to learn how to make good choices about selecting, growing, cooking and eating foods.
Through the generosity of farmers and local supporters, AHA is piloting this program and expects it to grow. For more information about Farm it Forward, contact Michele McKinley.
The John Rex Endowment provides grant support for AHA, a group of diverse organizations and community members who are shaping the environment throughout Wake County so healthful eating and physical activity are the way of life.