Food as Medicine


The most important dietary changes you
can make, almost no matter what your health condition is, is to increase your
intake of fruits and vegetables. We know that fruits and vegetables help prevent
cardiovascular disease, prevent obesity, prevent diabetes, prevent many types of
cancer, and so as a health professional we always advocate for healthy diets.
Healthcare providers across the United States are becoming increasingly aware
of how important food insecurity is for their patients, and there are a lot of
ways in which your healthcare provider may be able to support you if you’re
able to bring these issues into a conversation with them, and then there
may be resources in your community and in this very hospital. Social workers can
help connect you to benefits and find local food pantries that get food from
the food bank. There are community programs for which you may be eligible
and the social worker can help connect you to those. And if you’re in the
fortunate position of not needing these services, then there are many, many
nonprofits in these communities that are supporting people who are food insecure
with healthy food every day, and those are organizations that you should
consider supporting. We have chard and kale in our far bed.
We planted that on our opening day: August first, and those plants will
actually survive all winter and we’ll be harvesting about every week or every two
weeks from those beds. And then we also have some carrots and beets that are
coming up pretty soon, so this is just one hoop house out of three that we have
in production this winter. We manage the food pantry at the St. Michael Catholic
Church, and we’re affiliated with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Because we’re
distributing every week, so we’re feeding around 80 to
90 families, and these are for the people that has diabetes and have a high
blood pressure and, yeah we’re happy that this program is also is also helping us
out.

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