I was recently in a conversation with one of our employees who is engaged with the City of Cumberland in the creation of a community garden in one of our more economically depressed areas of Cumberland. After telling her of my admiration for her initiative, I asked to her to please keep the health system in mind as she is furthering her plans with the City. I want WMHS to take more of an active role in healthy eating throughout our region.
One of our physicians said at a recent meeting that "it is too expensive for poor people to eat healthy" and he's right. If you have the opportunity to visit some of our smaller grocery stores in our more depressed areas, the fresh produce leaves a great deal to be desired. And in the more "affluent" areas, the costs can be prohibitive, especially if you are on a very fixed income. So the doctor is right and we need to do more.
As a result, we will be reaching out to a variety of potential partners in order to bring fresh produce to those who cannot afford or have access to such items. It may take a while to get the concept up and running, but rest assured, it will be brought to fruition. I will keep you posted; and if you are interested in working with us, let me know.