Community Health Services at Comfort Food Community
The potential health impact of improving diet within our population is immense.
Less than 25% of adults in our geographic area eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Furthermore, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and a range of chronic illnesses are begun or exacerbated by food insecurity.
Food as Medicine is a developing field and we are proud to amplify the research and social equality practices to best serve anyone in need.
In 2018, we began providing public health education through our pantry services, at the community garden, and within the Greenwich Free Library, Greenwich School District,
and the Greenwich Youth Center. We expanded our services to address a range of
social determinants of health.
Our staff has led events on:
Understanding trauma and its physiological and psychological effects
Reducing stress through techniques such as yoga, physical exercise, hiking, and meditation
Growing your own produce, gardening skills, and fermentation of fruits and vegetables
Providing nutrition education for children, parents, and individuals with chronic illnesses
Fresh Food Farmacy
In 2019, we developed our first clinically-based food as medicine program in collaboration with area healthcare providers. The Fresh Food Farmacy is a two-pronged program involving long term intensive food and dietary education along with in-clinic food and resource outreach.
In the first year of programming, we distributed over 60,000 lbs of local produce from over 10 farms to 1,900 patients, a third of whom identified as food insecure and were connected to community and food resources.
Participants in the long-term program were diabetic with HbA1c levels over 8, a Body Mass Index over 30, and low-income. They received medically tailored produce, nutritional counseling, culinary education, and care management services.
Over 50% of the population succeeded in decreasing their A1c level, blood pressure, and weight through a diverse, plant-based diet and supportive education.
at the Glens Falls Farmers Market
Comfort Food Community began facilitating a produce prescription program at the Glens Falls Farmers Market in March of 2020. This intervention partners with healthcare agencies to identify low income individuals experiencing chronic illnesses and provides food access vouchers, health and social care resources, and nutrition education.
Despite occurring during the COVID 19 pandemic, within
3 months of operation we provided outreach to nearly 500 individuals, partnered with over 30 farms, distributed 133 resources, and 60 food referrals. We have had 163 visits from enrolled participants and are currently measuring its health impact.
For more information on our Community Health Programs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“I am diabetic and a single mother on a very limited budget and having access to local farm’s food has been beneficial to my health. I was able to get foods that I would normally not buy or aren’t available in my market. I also started a new medication when I joined the Produce Prescription Program, which allowed me to start eating more vegetables, fruits, fish, and yogurt/dairy. This also helped me cook more vegetables and fish. My sugars are almost within normal range, which is great because they were dangerously high earlier this year.
My blood sugars are now under good control.
Since meeting CFC staff and being a part of Comfort Food Community’s Glens Falls Farmers Market Produce Prescription Program, I'm eating better. I am more aware of what I need to eat in order to stay healthy not only with my diabetes, but also with anxiety, inflammation, and other health issues. She sent me information to help me understand the nutritional impact of food on my mind and body. She also guided me in what types of food to eat to help ease anxiety. Knowing the foods I receive from the farmers market are healthy and fresh, I believe they are the best for my son and me. I am thankful for this program and appreciate all that Amelia and CFC have done! This is a really great program! Thanks again!”
-Lisa, Produce Prescription Program participant