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Calvert, UHS, Target Insured Poor with Food as Medicine

Written by on November 6, 2021

UHS CareLink will Monitor Health Outcomes of Food Distribution

Commissioner Calvert with members of the San Antonio Master Gardeners

On October 26, 2021 the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court voted to move forward with Phase II of the Greenies Urban Farm construction, just in time for the farm’s second harvest. The nearly $2.3 million phase will include the construction of a vegetative perimeter fence, 100-person outdoor classroom, pavilion, plumbing, and other infrastructure. This Thursday, November 4, 2021, at 10:30 AM at Greenies Urban Farm, on the 1600 Block of Sherman at Hudson, Commissioner Calvert will be hosting a press conference to celebrate the project moving forward and the arrival of the second large harvest from the farm.

Commissioner Calvert led the court in awarding the project a total of $11.1million, in this year’s budget. The farm is located on the city’s East Side, where there are food deserts and many residents have difficulty finding or do not have access to fresh vegetables. The relocation of the Bexar County Agricultural Extension Service into the inner city is part of a national trend to make these services more accessible to populations most in need of eradicating food deserts.

Some of the vegetables that are ripe for harvest are broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, cucumber, and zucchini. Each of these foods has its own health benefits and a highlighted recipe will be provided by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, that are unique to each crop. Some benefits include aiding with weight loss, helping with eye health, regulating thyroid activity, and guarding against certain types of cancer. “There is a multitude of diets out there, as some of you have heard, that you can try to improve your health. But they all have one thing in common: increasing your servings of fresh vegetables. You can’t dispute that,” said Dahlia Gomez, registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist with the county-owned health system.

As the urban farm continues to grow so does the impact on the community. Commissioner Calvert is taking the next step to deepen his food is medicine initiative by utilizing the University Health Systems CareLink Insurance network to provide and track the health improvements in the systems poorest customers. University Health will pick up and provide the produce to predetermined CareLink members.

Growing healthy communities creates long-lasting benefits that will lead to an increase of behavioral and mental changes that have healthier outcomes for individuals, families, and their community.

Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr, speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the Greenies Urban Farm.
Video courtesy of Carl Booker of Black Video News

In December 2020 Commissioner Calvert Speaks at First Harvest of 10,000lbs of Super Greens

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