Rural Issue

The integration of nutrition and healthcare

The Farm at Trinity Health in Michigan is working on integrating nutrition into health care in the Midwest.  Its mission is to grow a healthy community by empowering people through food, education, and relationships. 

Amanda Sweetman, regional director of farming and healthy lifestyles for the Farm at Trinity Health says one of the goals is that nutrition security will be accessible to all, and diet-related illnesses will no longer be the leading cause of death in the United States.

In our conversation, Sweetman shares how The Farm, one of the nation’s oldest hospital-based farms began, how it’s grown, and how it continues to serve its communities through its different programs.

Some of the programs she outlines are the Collaborative Farm Share, which distributed 15,460 produces boxes over the 36-week season in 2022 to 350 families.  She highlights the Farm Share Assistance program which provides free or reduced-cost membership to several families.  The Produce to Patients program embodies a food is medicine philosophy and improves access to produce for both patients and healthcare workers.  Sweetman says the group invests in education programs, helping kids learn nutrition education at an early age through field trips, summer camp, and cooking classes. 

AUDIO: Amanda Sweetman, The Farm at Trinity Health

**Photo courtesy of The Farm at Trinity Health Michigan**

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