Food Is Medicine
Strengthening our relationship between food and health.
A partnership between Mill City Grows,
Lowell General Hospital, and UMass Lowell
Mill City Grows, Lowell General Hospital, and UMass Lowell are partnering on a special pilot program to learn how a steady diet of fresh fruits and vegetables affects our cardiac health.
Every week for six consecutive months, Mill City Grows’ Education Team delivers fresh, heart-healthy produce to cardiac patients at Lowell General Hospital in partnership with LGH’s Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. These fresh food deliveries go to twenty pre-selected patients (at no cost) who have had a heart attack, stroke, or another major cardiac event. In an effort to compare the effects of fresh food intake on this “intervention group” of patients, a “control group” of twenty patients are taking part in an LGH nutrition and exercise program, but are not receiving the farm shares. Both the intervention and control groups are monitored closely by a clinical dietician who will conduct patient interviews and health screenings throughout the program.
Data entry and analysis is being done by a UMass Lowell research assistant who will also conduct a one-year follow up with both patient groups.
In addition to making the produce deliveries, MCG’s Ed Team provides farm share recipients with delicious recipes, on-site cooking demonstrations, and taste tests, which are all part of the farm share experience to inspire participants to get the most out of their fresh food.
Mill City Grows is honored to be working with Lowell General Hospital and UMass Lowell to improve the health of families across Greater Lowell as we benchmark the benefits of fresh food in our community.