House of Hope is seeding Martin County with Nutrition Gardens to engage local youth with educational opportunities focused on gardening, healthy eating habits, and future career options.
"Rather than 'give a man a fish, feed him for a day,' this is a 'teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime' approach to solving a community need," House of Hope CEO Rob Ranieri said.
Recent community assessment data shared by the Florida Department of Health in Martin County raised serious concern about high rates of childhood obesity and other chronic illnesses. Martin County has high levels of childhood obesity -- more than 30% -- and in certain economically challenged communities, that number is a high as 60%. Some of the same communities also have higher-than-normal rates for adult diabetes and have a generally poor understanding of good nutrition and lack healthy eating habits.
In a concerted effort to reduce food insecurity, improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and promote healthy eating habits, House of Hope and select partners have created nutrition gardens in targeted communities. The gardens serve multiple purposes:
Our agricultural coordinator, Laura Lyman is engaging volunteers, seeking future sites, developing relationships in the agricultural community, and recruiting new partners around the education and gardening aspects of the project.
Partners so far: City of Stuart, Martin County Office of Community Partnerships, Martin County Solid Waste, University of Florida/IFAS, Keep Martin Beautiful, The Banner Lake Club, United Way of Martin County, Children's Services Council, and the Florida Department of Health in Martin County.
You can play a role in these transformational efforts through volunteering, offering in-kind materials and services, and providing monetary support.
For more information and to get involved, please contact Lauren Mustelier at Lauren@hohmartin.org or (772) 286-4673, ext. 1004
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