VeggieRX provides free vegetables to low-income people and patients in Chicago food deserts
By NICOLE BLACKWOOD CHICAGO TRIBUNE |
AUG 02, 2019 | 4:02 PM
Ashley Moore, a resident of Oak Park with limited income, travels to Maywood each Thursday for fresh produce. The trek is not entirely by choice, she said. Affordable vegetables aren’t readily available in her area, and she’s been focused on healthy eating of late.
But Maywood is a food desert.
Cucumbers and squash from the Veggie RX produce stand, grown by Windy City Harvest, in front of Loyola Medical Center in Maywood on Aug 1, 2019. (Stacey Rupolo / for the Chicago Tribune)
VeggieRX, a program implemented by Windy City Harvest, now in partnership with Loyola Medicine and Proviso Partners for Health, has cropped up to fill the void for Maywood residents and individuals like Moore. The program, which now operates year-round, has branches in Austin and North Lawndale, and is currently tied to Loyola’s Maywood clinic.
“Rather than waiting for an outside grocery store to come in, or somebody, somewhere, to fix the problem, we asked the question: ‘What could our local Maywood community do to create our own local food system?’” said Lena Hatchett, co-founder of Proviso Partners for Health.
VeggieRX was grilling on July 25 at the Loyola Center for Health, 1211 W. Roosevelt Road, Maywood! The cooking demonstration showed how healthy, low-salt foods can taste great. Windy City Harvest had a pop-up farm stand there, too.
For more information about this free program, ask your healthcare provider or contact Mary Mora: email@example.com or 708.531.5929
Veggie Rx starts June 6!!
Come shop for vegetables, and if you have a LINK card, you qualify for FREE produce!
The produce market is every Thursday at Loyola Center for Health on Roosevelt - 1211 W. Roosevelt Road in Maywood 4pm-6pm
By Nicole Etta, Loyola University Chicago, Feb. 25, 2019
The last grocery store in Maywood, an Aldi’s, shuttered on Christmas Eve of 2016. And with it disappeared the neighborhood’s easy access to fresh produce and its health-sustaining bounty of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that can help ward off chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and more.
But Mary (D’Anza) Mora, RDN, CDE ’02, is determined to change that. Mora works for the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing as a Community School and Wellness Coordinator with Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H), a community-based coalition made up of Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, and other partners who are collaborating to improve health equity and economic development in Chicago’s near west suburbs. Drawing on her background as a registered dietitian nutritionist, a professionally trained chef, and a master gardener volunteer, Mora is a woman on a mission: to increase access to healthy foods in the Maywood, Bellwood, Broadview, and Melrose Park.
“We know that a lot of health issues are within communities that don’t have fresh, affordable produce, and this is also a food equity issue,” Mora says. “I feel less like a registered dietitian and more like a social justice worker.” Continue reading
Please join us for our free vegetable distribution program for Maywood residents!
As we bring fresh produce to Maywood, participants can enjoy healthy cooking demonstrations, recipes and activities.
Pick-Up Dates: Mondays, January 28 - April 1, 3:00pm – 6:00pm
(FREE cooking demonstrations at 3:15, 4:15 and 5:15pm)
Location: Maywood Park District, 921 S. 9th Ave. Maywood, IL
If you have a LINK card, you can also earn 50% Off Coupons forLINK purchases at the Proviso Partners Giving Garden andWindy City Harvest farm stands this summer!
The Giving Garden Participates in the Cook County Department of Public Health Food Summit October 5-6, 2018
PP4H’s Giving Garden had a display at the Nutrition Expo for Health Care Professionals, April 3, 2018. Garden manager Christopher Epps discussed the health benefits of gardening and of fresh grown food and opportunities to volunteer with the Giving Garden community. More than a dozen people signed up to volunteer at the garden and farm stand. Chris also sold bags of this year’s first crop of spinach from the garden!
The Expo was located at Loyola’s Maywood campus and sponsored by the School of Nursing Dietetic Interns, Stritch School of Medicine, and the Accelerated Bachelor’s of Science Nursing program. The expo covered all aspects of patient nutrition for medical students, doctors, nurses, and staff at Loyola and Loyola University Health Care System.
VeggieRX Begins February 24, 2020, at the Maywood Park District
For More Information:
Ask your health care provider or contact Mary Mora: firstname.lastname@example.org • 708.531.5929
Food Justice Supporting the local food system through urban gardening and farm stands