Ypsilanti, MI  (CBS Detroit) – Eating healthy obviously has its benefits, but eating healthy can also be expensive. Which often makes it a challenge for those less fortunate. The Farm at St. Joe’s is making a difference by providing healthy foods to those in need. The program is aimed at reducing childhood obesity by giving low-income families access to fresh produce.

“It’s really the embodiment of our health care system’s desire to change the paradigm of health care,” explains Amanda Sweetman, Project Manager of The Farm at St. Joe’s. “We want to go from a system where people are sick when they get to us, to a system where people are well. That means having a place where people can come and get their hands dirty and learn what real food is.”

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The program has helped to foster a valuable relationship between St. Joe’s and the Greater Ypsilanti community. “This program has benefitted me in multiple ways”, says Amelia Reese, Facilitator, and Recipient of the CSA Program. “I got introduced to a lot of vegetables that I never heard of before. It also helps me get my seven-year-old to eat things that she normally wouldn’t eat.”

“The CSA program has been really successful and it’s been fun to see how fresh food can impact somebody’s life on a day to day basis,” adds Sweetman. “So we’re teaching our future practitioners how to be healthier, not just by what they eat, but how to have social connections and people to reach out to. We’re all about experiential education with meaningful connections to our community.”

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“The farm provided an opportunity for our community to say ‘this is what we want’. We don’t claim to have the answer, we know there is not a one-size-fits-all for health. We just want to hear from our community and really empower people to be advocates for change, on a personal and on a community health level.”

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