An Update of Food Is Medicine St. Pete written by Canon Katie Churchwell
Participants in the Food Is Medicine program attend classes for six weeks, where they are screened at the first and last class and learn about ways to improve their health. Each week they attend, they receive a $10 voucher to use at the produce market provided by Food Is Medicine. This program is a collaboration among many community partners. For a little less than a year it has experienced great success in the Campbell Park neighborhood. Food Is Medicine was made possible in part by grant funds received by the Cathedral from the Diocese of Southwest Florida and Province IV of the Episcopal Church.
Food Is Medicine St. Pete was a unique program in that it was based on a model called Food Is Medicine™ created by Florida Hospital System. As we have been leading classes in South St. Petersburg, the Food Is Medicine St. Pete team Ryan and Felana Bernat of Gulfport provide delicious produce for Health360! learned that the community at Campbell Park had some unique needs. At the same time, Florida Hospital System desired to take Food Is Medicine ™ to a national level. Through great and valuable conversation, the St. Pete team and Florida Hospital System decided that the best thing for the South St. Petersburg community was to make a formal break. This decision was amicable, made with the intention of keeping lines of communication open should it be desirable to join forces again down the road. Part of this shift means that the City of St. Petersburg will transition into the lead organization for what will now be known as Health360o.
Up to this point, Canon Katie has been serving on behalf of the Cathedral as the lead for the program, and she is grateful that the full staff of Healthy St. Pete under the Parks and Recreation Department of the City will take over the coordination, marketing, and managing of the project. The Cathedral will continue in making sure that grant funds are disbursed regularly and within the parameters of the grants. Health360o will continue to offer a collaborative and community-driven form of free health education, health screenings, and access to fresh produce.
With this switch, we are able to offer greater support to the Campbell Park community as well as other food-desert communities in our city. We can tailor classes, screenings, and food offerings to each specific community, encouraging participation and lasting, positive health changes. This great move forward will ensure that Heath360o is sustainable. As always, there are lots of ways for the Cathedral community to engage with the Campbell Park community through Health360o. Anyone who is interested should contact Canon Katie.
Food Is Medicine St. Pete
Food Is Medicine is a food access/health education/health screening program that targets food desert communities. It is a program that is a partnership between a variety of community leaders, of which the Cathedral is just one. The Campbell Park location is the first Food Is Medicine site in South Pinellas County, and we are excited to be starting with our first class on August 16th at the Campbell Park Center.
How does it work? Classes are six weeks long, meeting Wednesday evenings at Campbell Park Center. On the first and last class of each series, community health nurses from Baycare will come and provide a free health screening of the class participants- checking BMI, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. The classes vary in nature, depending on which Food Is Medicine partner is leading the class, but each class is evidence-based and engages with health/diet/nutrition needs. For every class a participant attends, s/he receives a $10 produce voucher to buy fresh produce. Gulfport Produce will be on-site at Campbell Park Center every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. with a large selection of fresh produce that class participants - and anyone else- can buy. Vouchers are also accepted at Gulfport Produce’s brick and mortar location.
For program information contact Canon Katie Churchwell: