First Walton County Food Rx Program Completed by Resource Court Referrals – Your Local News

Walton Wellness looks to the future by addressing food sustainability, insecurity and literacy

MONROE, Ga. – August 1, 2022 – As the bugle sounds for mental health across the country, Walton Wellness completes Walton County’s first Mental Health Food Rx program with referrals from the Walton County Court of Appeals.

The Food Rx program uses the power of the written recipe to create a cognitive link with participants between healthy habits, food and their well-being.

“The opportunities for our participants to learn about the relationship between healthy food choices and physical health, and learn hands-on cooking skills and techniques to emphasize healthy food choices are invaluable. Physical well-being directly affects self-confidence and mental well-being. Walton Wellness, through Food Rx, provides a safe and comfortable learning environment, which is another important resource in helping our participants successfully move forward in life,” said Superior Court Judge Jeff Foster, Presiding Judge of the Court. of Walton County Resources.

The Food RX program provides nutrition education, cooking classes, and access to free produce for participants referred by the Resource Court.

Each Food Rx cohort is together for six months. The first three months are dedicated to a combination of nutrition education and cooking classes. Alex Lundy, health education coordinator for Walton Wellness, along with sous chef Rosalind Simmons, educate participants on healthy eating and healthy cooking.

During the three-month educational component, participants receive all the ingredients for the recipes they have practiced cooking in class. This helps in retention, compliance, and integration of new foods and practices learned in class. After three months of classes, participants move on to prescription products provided by The Field Garden twice a month for the remaining three months of the program.

“I just got home and have been going through the bags of vegetables and herbs and I just want to thank you again for all your hard work and dedication in teaching the classes and picking the fresh produce and giving your hard work and time to help others. . And now I am preparing a salad for my son and myself for dinner and some other vegetables,” said a recent participant.

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“The goal of our FoodRx program is to increase awareness and implementation of healthy eating habits, healthy cooking methods and new recipes, fresh herbs and spices, all while reducing food insecurity. By combining nutrition education, hands-on cooking classes, and the provision of free, healthy food, we enable our participants to make real lifestyle changes over the course of a six-month interactive and supportive program. The use of this type of program design in working with the mental health services and holistic case management offered by the Walton County Resource Court is truly innovative and we are very excited to be a part of this partnership working on Walton County,” said Alex Lundy, Health Education Coordinator for Walton Wellness.

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In 2022, the use of The Field Garden, located on the grounds of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, was expanded to include providing fresh fruits and vegetables to a mental health group as well as a group referred by a medical, for patients who have been diagnosed with chronic lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The garden is operated by Walton Wellness, Inc. and with the help of Walton County inmates you can reap a donated bounty each year.

“Walton Wellness sets a goal for this cohort to increase knowledge of healthy recipes, culinary skills, and use of fresh herbs and spices, as well as self-reported evidence of an increase in cooking with fresh ingredients at home and a decrease in regular consumption. of processed foods. foods,” said DeDe Harris, CEO, Walton Wellness, Inc.

Walton Wellness, Inc. has its sights set on expanding the program. In a few months, Walton Wellness’s second Food Rx cohort for 2022, with attendees referred by local physicians, will also be complete.

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