Grant awarded to St. Vincent's Healthy Harvest Program
A partnership with Seton Harvest and St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry
The Welborn Baptist Foundation, Inc. has given the HEAL ( Healthy Eating Active Living) Grant of $125,024 to St. Vincent Evansville. The grant will support the Healthy Harvest program, a new collaborative initiative between St. Vincent Evansville, Seton Harvest and St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry to help bring healthy food to those who need it in the Evansville Community.
The grant supported the purchase of a greenhouse and hydroponics system that will allow for year-round growth of fruits and vegetables. This infrastructure is currently under construction and will be located at Seton Harvest, a community-supported agriculture initiative sponsored by the Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise. The produce grown will be distributed by the Seton Harvest delivery truck, local food pantries, homeless shelters, school backpack programs, and various other outlets.
"Evidence has shown that obesity and other chronic health conditions are more prominent in communities that are located in food deserts, " said Janet Raisor, Executive Director of St. Vincent's Evansville Community Relations and Community Health. "This grant from the Welborn Baptist Foundation will allow us to help educate, fight hunger and improve the health of more families in our community."
This program will serve adults and children in the greater Evansville area, including the Evansville designated Promise Zone, and will meet the Promise Zone goal of promoting better health and access to healthcare, specifically access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce will be distributed on a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on the type of produce.
Supplemental education and health screenings will be provided by a St. Vincent Evansville Registered Dietitian and RN. The dietitian will create recipe cards to accompany fresh produce and provide hands on education about healthy eating at field trips for participating schools to Seton Harvest. These field trips will also provide children with fun, interactive information on gardening and farming. Additionally, the RN will provide much deeded health screenings at the distribution sites.