Monday, June 13, 2011

Last Tuesday I attended the launch of Nourishing North Carolina, a new statewide community garden program that seeks to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the 100 counties in the state. Sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association, Mecklenburg County was chosen as the first county, and the site is Winterfield/Sheffield Community Garden, located next to Winterfield Elementary School in east Charlotte.

According to BCBSNC, more than 30 percent of children ages two to four years old in North Carolina are considered overweight or at risk for becoming overweight. Two-thirds of the state’s adults are considered obese or overweight. This program helps to address these alarming obesity rates. Many communities in Charlotte don't have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. You'd be surprised how many low-income people do the majority of their grocery shopping at convenience stores, where fresh produce isn't among the offerings. Or some just have never been taught healthy dietary methods.

Winterfield/Sheffield Community Garden is the first to benefit from this new program.

Another great thing about this program is the garden is being maintained by neighbors and students, so they're also learning how to garden in addition to learning to choose a healthier diet. About 25 community members and 80 Winterfield Elementary students tend the garden weekly, and they had it in great shape when the public was invited out to Tuesday's launch.

Nourishing North Carolina is expanding to all 100 counties over the next three years, with plans to eventually provide 190,000 pounds of produce, enhancing the nutritional value of nearly 150,000 meals, and leading 17,000 hours of physical activity through garden maintenance.

Click here for the Nourishing North Carolina website, where you'll find more details including garden locations. You can also "Like" it on Facebook.

Below is a slideshow of photos I took at the launch event (or click here to view).

1 comment :

  1. It's good to see community initiatives geared towards organic farming.


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