The team at WVU is all about helping the community at large, beyond the kitchen table. “This is all built on partnerships with our community, our local farmers and our local churches and our food pantries our community our community gardens,” explained Emma Eggleston, dean for the WVU eastern panhandle medical system. Carla Toolan, community outreach coordinator for the initiative, said, “It takes a four- pillars approach to lifestyle, medicine and diabetes management for nutrition, physical activity, stress reduction and sleep hygiene.”
“By building programs like this that are really unique for the State of West Virginia, we are committing to that idea that we are doing things first in the eastern panhandle,” said WVU health sciences vice president, Dr. Clay Marsh. This project is community-wide for now — but WVU sees statewide implications from what is happening here in Martinsburg.
According to WVU’s eastern regional dean of the medical system, everyone in the community is invited to the table. “This started student to student,” said Dr. E. Gordon Gee, “and now they’ve created it so that it’s a community-wide project.”
President Gee will continue to take his message throughout the Mountain State. The Healthy Harvest Farm Table is open to residents the first and third Tuesday, through November, starting at 9 a.m near the WVU Berkeley medical complex on Sushruta Drive, Martinsburg. Melanie Jimmerson with the WVU Farm-to-You program added, “I believe what has really been the most rewarding part is seeing people be able to go home with free and fresh produce that’s locally grown.”
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