The Rotary Club of Weatherford is “Transforming Texas” - well at least their small portion of it, but they’re not doing it alone.Texas Health Harris Methodist of Azle has been coordinating the education efforts of a Food Hub Produce Program that will kick off in Weatherford at 10 a.m. Aug. 10 at the Weatherford Public Library. The effort is part of a grant called “Transforming Texas,” aiming to increase access to and affordability of fresh produce and will take place every month, on the second Saturday, at the library.Bags of mixed fruits and vegetables will be available for purchase for $5 with each bag containing at least 15 pieces.“There is no pre-qualifications to purchase,” said Melanie Nieswiadomy, Community Health Social Worker with Texas Health/Harris Methodist Hospital Azle.“Just $5 cash for each bag. We use one of our Texas Health Resource vendor’s, Fresh Point, to purchase fresh produce with some being produced by local Texas growers.”Currently, two other locations in Parker County, both in Azle, have been successfully selling and participating for several months.“Azle Lion’s Club and Azle Christian Church both have excellent volunteers and should be able to run self-sufficient within the next month or so,” Nieswiadomy said. “Each Food Hub has sold out within the hour. As the community learns more about our Food Hubs we anticipate continued success and growth at each location.”The Azle Lion’s Club hosts a Food Hub the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 412 Commerce; and the Azle Christian Church hosts a Food Hub the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at 117 Church Street.Nieswiadomy said they order produce prior to the day of selling; accepting cash only. “Each bag contains more than 15 pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables at $5 per bag,” she said. “There is no limit or pre-qualifications to participate; many people buy for their neighbors and family members or provide an additional monetary donation to provide to others that may be struggling financially.”According to the company’s website, “Transforming Texas” is a five-year, federally funded initiative supporting communities, workplaces, schools and health care providers as they work together to reduce chronic disease, lower the cost of care and promote a lifetime of health for every Texan through the power of prevention.Its purpose: to create healthier communities by:• Building capacity to implement evidence- and other practice-based policy, environmental, programmatic, and infrastructure changes aligning with Healthy People 2020 focus areas.• Supporting implementation of interventions to prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and other leading causes of death or disability.The grant is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) Community Transformation Grant (CTG)For more information go to: LongLiveParkerCounty.com and Facebook page Long Live Parker County.
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102 Twitter: @Lancewinter