Norwood Hospital Participates in Healthy Food Program with Farmers Market

Friday, November 22, 2013

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As fall days slip away, memories of a warm summer and colorful, locally-grown produce found at farmers markets remind us to take every opportunity to choose fresh and nutritious foods—even in the winter—to continue healthy eating all year long.

This summer, Norwood Hospital and the Massachusetts Farmers Markets partnered to give qualified patients and their families vouchers toward the purchase of fresh produce at local farmers markets.

 “We enrolled nine patients in the voucher program through our Nutrition and Wellness Clinic to encourage healthy behaviors and healthier food in their diets,” said Linda Davenport, certified diabetes educator at Norwood Hospital. “It was great to offer an incentive to go along with the nutritional education we provide at the clinic. The patients appreciated the help purchasing fresh produce and plan to continue to include more vegetables in their diets.”

Norwood Hospital also worked closely with Laurie Shea, director of the town of Norwood’s farmers market, to ensure that participating farmers were familiar with the vouchers in exchange for fresh produce.

In addition to the voucher program, Norwood Hospital joined in another healthy eating venture with the Norwood farmers market called the “Chef’s Table.”

“The Chef’s Table gives local businesses an opportunity to demonstrate and prepare healthy recipes using items and produce available at the market,” said Shea. “You can taste the difference with locally-grown food – the freshness is amazing,” she added.

Caitlin Melia, dietitian and clinical nutrition manager at Norwood Hospital, had the opportunity to prepare several healthy dishes for the Chef’s Table. “It was a great opportunity to reach out to community members as they took advantage of the farmers market and to show them new ways to use local produce for healthy family meals,” said Melia.

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