Civic, church and community leaders gathered in Social Circle Thursday last week for the reveal of a new Walton Wellness initiative, the Mobile Farmacy. This project is a repurposed school bus that is dedicated to promoting healthy eating habits and helping provide the resources to do so for those in the community most in need.
DeDe Harris with Walton Wellness said the play on words in naming the project the Mobile Farmacy was deliberate.
“Farm plus pharmacy is farmacy and it is fitting because food is medicine,” Harris said. “I don’t know that it’s new knowledge, but we’re going back to an old knowledge where we know that food really is medicine. I’ve seen it my own family as far as people being able to eat to correct their diet and get off different medication. I’ve seen it with multiple people in the community as well who have really looked at their behavior and their lifetyles and they’re able to change and get rid of blood pressure medication and get rid of diabetic medication.”
The Mobile Farmacy is an enhancement of the joint Farmer’s Market project operated by Faith in Serving Humanity and Walton Wellness to make available healthy food options to local residents. It began in 2012 through a voucher system that made fruits and vegetables available through vouchers obtained at FISH, but is now operated through a membership.
Harris said the purpose of the Mobile Farmacy is for it to be a universal tool for Walton County organizations to provide community events as well as hands-on education with children as well as adults emphasizing nutrition, water and agriculture. The Mobile Farmacy will be able to take the farmers market to different locations at various times. It also is equipped with a kitchen so it will be able to educate on the use of healthy options in cooking as well as share recipes with the community.
“We want it to be an onsite field trip. It has pizza ovens on it so we want to have fresh vegetables from the gardens that are at the schools and then make a pizza on site with the students,” Harris said.
Churches, community organizations and any others who would just like to help are asked to think about starting a community garden to help stock the Mobile Farmacy. The Walton County Detention Center already has the Garden Project that helps stock the FISH farmers market, but the plan is to expand the resources and help provide healthy food for the community with all locally grown products.
“We do have expert help through our partnership with Soil and Water Conservation and so any church that is interested, what we are asking is think about starting with a raised bed and just growing…. tomatoes, just pick one crop. It doesn’t have to be a huge garden with multiple different vegetables. Just one raised bed where you’re growing just tomatoes, or just squash, or something else and then donating it to the Farmer’s Market,” Harris said, going on to say that the First United Methodist Church of Social Circle had already had soil delivered to the church last week to begin the first garden to grow fresh produce for the project.
The Mobile Farmacy’s creation was the result of a need to give Walton Wellness a wider reach into the community and was made possible through the support of The Walton County Health Care Foundation Inc. and the City of Social Circle. Click or tap on this link or the image for more information on the Mobile Farmacy and to see how you can help.