Nutritional education and access to fresh produce changes lives.

Photo Provided by The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.

As we look forward to everything that 2021 has in store for us, our partners, and our volunteers, we want to take a moment to take a look back on some successes of 2020. One such success is the nutritional education and farm share distribution program run by our hunger relief partner, The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden is a cancer support center dedicated to providing cancer support, therapeutic services and education to all people facing cancer.

For a fifth consecutive year, participants of the LiveWell Program received monthly boxes of food pantry items including grains, spices, legumes and some of our produce, paired with specialized instruction from local chef Amy Noordzji to help incorporate the novel nutrition into their regular diets. 
Over 68% of participants in the LiveWell program reported that their consumption of healthy, fresh produce was limited by the cost of that produce.

“Due to COVID-19 and income uncertainty earlier this year, we cut down monthly spending by buying less perishable food.” – A LiveWell Program Participant.

Because of the food shares provided by the LiveWell program from our farm, participants experienced an up to 65% reduction in nutritional concerns and a 50% improvement in overall being, showing that ACCESS to fresh produce paired with nutritional lessons and group support solves a vast range of nutritional concerns and problems. 

Because of the access to fresh foods, 84% of the LiveWell Participants ate all of the vegetables provided in the biweekly shares and formed a healthy eating habit – almost all participants more than doubled their original fruit and vegetable consumption! 

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