The Garden Path to Community Well-Being

By Published On: June 8th, 2024

sue farm share RX program

Sue’s journey with Marion Polk Food Share’s Farm Share Rx Program exemplifies the power of nutrition and neighborly love in creating a connected and healthier community. This initiative marked a pivotal moment in her life, enabling her to improve her health by integrating fresh produce into her diet, but her story extends beyond personal wellness.

Living among many older residents, some homebound, Sue used fresh produce to foster a stronger community bond. Reflecting on her contributions, Sue recalls, “I got a watermelon here … I divided it into four pieces. All of my neighbors got some.” Her actions underscore a profound spirit of generosity, as she actively shares her bounty with those around her, particularly aiding neighbors who might otherwise struggle to access fresh food.

Beyond nutritional benefits, the program has given Sue a renewed purpose and a sense of security amidst life’s challenges. Managing her diabetes has become more feasible with an emphasis on vegetables over meat, demonstrating the significance of diet in her overall health strategy.

Highlighting the positive effects of her lifestyle changes, Sue beams with pride, “Many of my older neighbors can’t believe how old I am.” Sue adds, “I think it’s a mindset. I’ve seen people younger than me who aren’t very active. Then there are those twice my age, who run circles around me,” she shared with a laugh, pointing out the variability in activity levels across different age groups.

Her involvement with Farm Share Rx goes beyond personal improvement, positioning Sue as an essential pillar of support within her community. “It’s been a positive experience, getting together with my neighbors,” she says, emphasizing the collective benefit and joy derived from communal eating.

By transforming her personal challenge into an opportunity for communal growth, Sue demonstrates that true empowerment comes from lifting others as we climb, making every shared meal a step toward collective well-being.

Aiming to reach the remarkable age of 105, Sue’s ambition is not just a personal goal, but a testament to her vibrant spirit and the impact of living a connected, healthy life. Continuing to spread positivity and fresh produce, Sue embodies empowerment, demonstrating that shared resources and community connections forge a resilient and fulfilling existence.