Addressing Food Deserts with TWEF

A recent Harris County Healthcare Alliance study found more than 25% of Harris County children live in low-income, “food insecure” homes. That puts them more at risk for developmental delays and chronic health issues. Low-income communities also experience higher rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks and more.

In an effort to address this major issue, The Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation (TWEF) is constructing an urban garden to serve two extremely low-income communities in Harris County. The United States Department of Agriculture considers these neighborhoods “food deserts” because they do not have easy access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.

The urban gardens will be funded through a Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant by BCBSTX. The project uses the joy of gardening to connect with people of all generations. It aims to cultural boundaries and provide access to fresh produce as well as weekly physical activities. The program also promotes positive behavioral changes and teaches entrepreneurship skills through a farmers’ market.

The Ribbon is Cut!
In celebration of the groundbreaking, TWEF hosted their Urban Garden Community Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on October 2, 2015 during their 9th Annual International Financial & Leadership Summit. Lori Ivanoff, BCBSTX Divisional Vice President of Network Management, joined TWEF Founder, Deavra Daughtry and other special guests to cut the ribbon in front of an enthusiastic crowd to commemorate the new project. The two-day summit drew in more than 3,000 people and included special guests: Solange Knowles, Dr. Sherry Blake, Iyanla Vanzant and Ludacris and Eudoxie Bridges.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF)
A signature BCBSTX grant program since 2011, HKHF demonstrates BCBSTX’s commitment to help stem the rising tide of obesity and chronic conditions in order to help kids and their families get healthy and stay healthy. The only way to diminish prominent health issues in communities is by partnering with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable and measureable programs that truly make a positive impact on millions of youth and families across Texas. The four key aspects of the program focus on: nutrition , physical activity, preventing and managing disease and supporting safe environments.

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