Local program helps offer fresh produce to those in need

Local News

BOONE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – A program is coming back to Boone County to help families improve their health by offering fresh produce at no cost.

FARMacy offers eligible families twenty dollars worth of fresh vegetables and fruits per week. Boone Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Lifestyle Program partnered with the WVU Extension Service to bring the program to the area.

Access to fresh produce is a challenge for some families in Boone County. BMH Family Nurse Practioner, Kathy Hill run’s the FARmacy Boone location.

“When the coal mines went away, a lot of people are without employment, so some of its economy, some of it is transportation. We have a lot of people in our areas that have to shop at the Dollar Store,” said Hill.

For many, that poor diet causes big health problems. “We want people to learn to eat healthy to help battle the chronic diseases that we have in this area, which is diabetes, obesity, blood pressure…” explained Hill.

Last year, the program helped 23 families in Boone County. There are 12 other locations throughout West Virginia, including Lincoln, Mingo, Cabell and Roane counties.

Those who qualify for the program will receive a box of fresh produce once a week, for 15 weeks, and can attend cooking classes that will show the individuals how to prepare the food in healthy ways.

“They would come back and be like ‘zucchini is my favorite food now’, so it is really heartwarming to be able to offer this service in the area,” said Hill.

You may qualify for the FARMacy program if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do you have diabetes, heart disease or another chronic disease?
  • Does your family sometimes run out of food?
  • Do you provide care for at least one child under the age of 18?

If you are eligible and would like to apply, contact Kathy Hill at 304-369-1230 Ext. 4904 or email her at kjhill@bmh.org.

This year, the program hopes to accommodate 50 families. They’re taking applications and organizers hope to fill all slots by mid-June.

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