Many of our patients are just trying to keep a roof over their head. They have to answer the question, sometimes daily, of what’s more important today, trying to make sure they have food or can pay rent. They have a daily worry of getting food, and few options that are healthy.
You’ve probably gone grocery shopping and noticed that fruit is more expensive than a bag of chips. Sometimes you’re left with decisions around what to pick today if you only have $5 to spend. You can imagine where the choices may go.
What we’ve been able to do with Dig Deep Farms is huge. Now Food Is Medicine participants can have fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to their homes, so there isn’t even a worry about gas and transportation costs. That’s huge for this community of patients.
As a primary care provider, I know that by providing some teaching and tools around healthier choices, maybe I won’t need to have my patient take a second or third medication. Food Is Medicine gives us another way, that’s more long lasting, for a patient to make changes.
When you make that kind of lifestyle change, it benefits the whole family unit. If I’m a mom and I learn that these are some things I can do to keep myself healthy, I’m modeling that behavior for my children and other family members. I may think differently about what I want to bring home for my family to eat.
As humans, we’re a social group, even though many of us may be more introverted. I’ve seen the ways participants in Food Is Medicine support one another and become a community. Many of our patients don’t have a lot of social connections, so they have this group to look forward to every week, where they can connect.
That’s the beauty of coming to a place where you feel safe and you’re able to talk about things that you may not feel comfortable talking about in your other social circles. You may struggle with food, or money, or your mood—but there is probably someone else in the group who has also been feeling that. That really connects people.