With spring approaching, Hopedale Medical Complex is preparing a community garden for the upcoming season. HMC has had a community garden for a few years, but there will be a few key changes. Coordinator of Community Health and Wellness, Greg Eberle, says, “The goal this year is intentional use and distribution of produce from the garden.” Through strategic partnerships, HMC will be contributing locally grown, fresh produce and food education to the village of Hopedale and the surrounding tri-county area (Tazewell, Peoria, and Woodford).
Fresh fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense foods, useful in both treating and preventing common health problems in America including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Current local community assessments have shown more than 50% of the surveyed population do not consume fresh fruits and vegetables. The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network awarded HMC a 2018 Disease Management/Population Health Grant for HMC’s community-wide wellness program which utilizes the community garden as a tool for meeting the local need for food access and education.
Located at the beautiful White Fence Estate, the garden will feature a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Local middle school students, Hopedale Commons residents, HMC employees, along with community volunteers from local FFA and 4H groups will work together to tend to the garden. Harvested crops will be used on property in the Hopedale Hospital Café where they will be incorporated as farm-to-table menu items for residents, patients, employees and community members. Hopedale residents will be able to purchase produce at the White Fence Farmer’s Market. Additionally, the produce will be given to those in need through partnership with the GITM Foundation’s Good Food Recovery program which takes food from local producers and brings it to areas in need of produce, such as food banks and low-income food deserts.
Hopedale Medical Complex is located in Hopedale, IL and its mission is to provide outstanding physician-directed health, wellness, and residential services in a personal, private, family atmosphere. To learn more about wellness and community services offered at HMC visit www.hodedalemc.com.