Foundation Receives USDA Grant to Expand Get Fresh Program
The Augusta Health Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the USDA's Farm to School Program to expand Augusta Health's collaborative Get Fresh program. Get Fresh has been in place since 2018, and is a collaboration with community partners: Waynesboro Public Schools, Project Grows, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Currently the program serves students in two Waynesboro elementary schools. The grant expands Get Fresh into a third elementary school and will fund the purchase of a concessions trailer that will serve as a mobile food café. The Mobile Café will provide nutritious meals and fresh produce to children in five low-income neighborhoods during summer vacations and schools closures.
"We're very excited about receiving the grant and expanding the program to include the mobile café," says Krystal Moyers, Director of Community Outreach at Augusta Health. "We are grateful for the good work that has been done by the collaborative partners in the Waynesboro Public Schools. By expanding the program and adding the mobile café, Get Fresh will provide fun, interactive lessons on healthy food choices and eating habits, while increasing children's access to fresh produce and good meals when school is not in session."
Waynesboro City School elementary students who benefit from the Free and Reduced Lunch program have the highest participation in Get Fresh. The program includes classroom nutrition education, fresh food tastings, farm field trips and afterschool nutrition programming and meals for the entire family. The program uses local sources—Project Grows, the AMI Farm at Augusta Health and other local farms—for the produce.
The mission of the Augusta Health Foundation is to inspire community ownership through charitable giving to advance health and wellness in our region. The Foundation is the charitable arm of Augusta Health and supports essential patient care programs and services at Augusta Health, including Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah.
Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Over the years, Augusta Health has been recognized by many external rating organizations: 100 Top Hospitals in America, HealthGrades' America's 50 Best Hospitals, and most recently by US News and World Report as a Best Regional Hospital, 2019-2020. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website, https://www.augustahealth.com.