South Carolina Pilot Project Puts Farmers' Markets in Community Health Centers

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University of South Carolina scientists are developing a plan to place farmers' markets at health centers. Dr. James Hébert specializes in cancer prevention research, especially with regards to diet. Support for the project comes from a $1.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Dr. James Hébert is working on a pilot program establishing farmer's markets onsite at community health centers, according to the Carolina Minute with Frenche Brewer.

"Building on expertise in diet and physical activity, epidemiology and disease mapping for which the Cancer Prevention and Control Program is well known, our center has developed research programs aimed at healthy eating that could change the face of cancer in South Carolina and beyond," said Hébert, who recently received the NCI's Established Investigator Award in Cancer Prevention.

Fellow researcher Dr. Darcy Freedman said the model is the Veggie Project, where she organized farmers' markets in low-income neighborhoods in Nashville, Tenn in collaboration with local Boys and Girls Clubs. The project worked to combat food deserts often found in low income neighborhoods to give access to fruits and vegetables.

Having a farmers' market at a health center is a novel approach to healthcare, said Freedman, and Carolina's program will be the first of its kind in the nation.

"We're working to prove that the best medicine for disease prevention comes from the garden," she said. "What we learn can be used to develop other centers throughout the United States."

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