Establishing Indoor Gardens in Schools and Community Settings: A project to reduce obesity and diabetes among residents in Caroline, Dorcheseter and Kent Counties. 

 

Strategy

Develop and implement community-based programs that address food security with a focus on healthy nutrition and incorporate fresh produce in low-income areas that are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to nutritious foods.

 

Outcome Objective:

Partner with at least 9 organizations (3 per county) to establish one or more  indoor garden grow towers at community centers, schools, public housing, places of worship, etc.

Background

Caroline, Dorchester and Kent represent three of the five counties within the Mid-Shore region. All are designated rural counties and fare worse than Maryland by almost every measure as illustrated by the 2021 Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings (chart below). While measures vary by county, residents in the three counties overall have lower income, higher poverty rates, higher rates of obesity and diabetes, less access to healthy foods and exercise opportunities, and lower rates of physical activity than Maryland.  

Scope of Project

Broadly, this project will target residents who have lower incomes, and less access to healthy foods and exercise opportunities who may be obese and at-risk for, or with a diagnosis of diabetes. In addition, this project will adopt components of the CDC’s Inclusive Healthy Communities Model to make healthy living easier for all people across community sectors (e.g., school, work site, health care) where they may live, learn, work, play, pray, and receive care. Organizations that serve these populations will be eligible to receive indoor vegetable grow-towers to make fresh produce accessible year-round. Special priority will be given to schools or organizations that also use the grow-towers in conjunction with educational activities designed to supplement and reinforce healthy eating.  

Status Updates:

8/31/22

54 garden towers were requested. Of those requested, the Mid Shore Health Improvement Coalition was able to fund 36 towers to 22 organizations on the Mid Shore. All towers are expected to be up and running in the fall of 2022.

Aarons Place Inc

Caroline, Dorchester

Benedictine School

Caroline

Caroline County Public Schools

Caroline

Caroline Medical adult Day Care

Caroline

Caroline Pride

Caroline

Channel Marker, Inc.

Caroline

DCPS, New Dimension Learning Academy

Dorchester

Eastern Shore Food Lab

Kent

Empowered Being LLC

Dorchester

Generations Child Development Center

Caroline

Heather Fishers Daycare

Caroline

Henry Highland Garnet Elementary School PTA

Kent

His Hope Ministries

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent

Kent medical Adult Day Care

Kent

Maple Elementary

Dorchester

Minary's Dream Alliance, Inc

Kent

North Dorchester Middle School

Dorchester

South Dorchester School PreK-8

Dorchester

Spanish Club-North Caroline High School

Caroline

Town of Greensboro

Caroline

Tuckahoe State Park/Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Caroline

University of Maryland Extension

Caroline, Dorchester, Kent