JACKSON, Mich. — Vista Grande Villa has been awarded a one-year planning grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support its planned Village Garden Venture program. This grant of $148,592 will help support a 14 member collaborative partnership of community nonprofit and for-profit stakeholders working to create an intergenerational community garden and produce distribution system serving economically disadvantaged seniors and disenfranchised youth in Jackson County.
“We are grateful to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for its commitment to Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles in our region,” says Vista Grande Villa Executive Director, Chelsea Eisele. “This generous gift will help us tackle the community challenges in food and nutrition security, as well as those related to social isolation. This alliance of community passion, resources and expertise is dedicated to developing a plan that will positively impact the overall health and wellness of our youth and senior population.”
The intergenerational community garden will promote healthy lifestyles by increasing access to, appreciation for, and consumption of fresh produce throughout the year and reduce social isolation among seniors.
The top five dietary conditions linked to chronic disease, disability and death in the United States include low consumption of whole grains; low intake of nuts and seeds; high intake of sodium; low intake of fruit and low intake of vegetables. “The Village Garden Venture initiative will serve as a comprehensive program utilizing food as a medicine approach, increasing nutritional knowledge and consumption of fresh produce. Additionally, this program will unite youth, ages 12-18, and older adults through social engagement, providing opportunities for increased physical and emotional activities,” says Tim Swope, Director of Fund Development for Vista Grande Villa.
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