After the grueling winter experienced in many parts of the mid-Atlantic, CVIM is looking forward to the summer season perhaps more than ever. In addition to the warmer weather, summer is particularly exciting at CVIM because it marks the beginning of a new harvest season and the 2014 start of the CVIM Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Now in its third year, the CSA program gives the opportunity for patients and their families to receive fresh fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis from late spring through early fall at no cost.
This summer, 41 individuals in 20 patient families will receive CSA shares from farms in Kennett and Coatesville on a weekly basis. The goal of the program is to provide our patients with the fresh produce they need to improve their health and better manage chronic diseases many of them face. At the beginning of the program, CVIM Health Educator Rachel will obtain a baseline for all program participants on many important health factors including cholesterol, hemoglobin A1c, and waist circumference. In the past, patients who participated with the CSAs through CVIM have seen improvement in these health indicators by the program’s end, and we expect to see similar results in patient participants in 2014.
As part of the program, patients will participate in monthly cooking classes to give them the opportunity to learn how to prepare their fresh fruits and vegetables into a variety of healthy, satisfying meals. CVIM will share program developments and results as they become available.