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Choosing Health in Todd County

By Stephanie Hakes, Regional Coordinator and Hannah Jastram, Communications Associate — Health and Nutrition

Lakewood Health System in Staples, MN is interested in making healthy food choices easier and more convenient. So it makes sense that when Hunger-Free Minnesota funded a project called Choose Health, Lakewood Health System partnered with University of Minnesota Extension Health and Nutrition and five other organizations to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

The Choose Health project expands access to locally grown foods in ways that address food insecurity. Limited income individuals receive a community supported agriculture (CSA) share and participate in learning opportunities. Todd County Public Health provided a concentrated community referral process and ongoing support for food insecure individuals. “It was such a relief to know that we would be getting fresh local produce biweekly,” said one participant.

Health and Nutrition provided nutrition education classes and recipes. “Any program that provides recipes for healthy meals is an excellent idea for families and young children,” said one participant. “In my ECFE classes, we are always trying to find healthy recipes that are quick and easy.”

Both SNAP-Ed educators and local chefs from Prairie Bay did cooking demonstrations. “It is awesome trying new things and having fresh veggies to eat,” said one participant.

Choose Health is just one way Lakewood is acting on their vision of healthier, more convenient choices. They have eliminated all sugar sweetened beverages from their campus, host farmers market in the parking lot of their clinic, and have partnered frequently with Health and Nutrition.

To connect with Lakewood, visit the Lakewood Health System website, like their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.
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