In the last several years, Greenville Health System has expanded its footprint in the Upstate as we attempt to provide easier access to health care for upstate residents. But, as we do that, it’s important to us to make an impact on the health and wellness of these communities—and not just when people are sick.
Here in Laurens County, we have partnered with the Clinton Community Garden Project because we support the garden’s mission of promoting healthy eating—especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. As presenting sponsor of this project, we’re excited to see neighborhoods in Laurens County gain access to fresh foods.
We hope that our contribution to this project will enable not only the completion of its flagship garden (located on South Bell Street), but also a second community garden near the Martha Dendy Community Center. When complete, the garden on South Bell Street will feature a work shed, a rainwater irrigation system and a large deck and stage for community gatherings.
Between July and September of 2016, this garden produced 125 pounds of basil, broccoli, butter beans, cabbage, chard, green and red peppers, lettuce, sage, squash, turnips and zucchini, among other things.
These herbs, fruits and vegetables were harvested through 1,675 hours of volunteer labor by individuals and groups from throughout our community. We will contribute to this volunteer workforce with many of our own employees, and are looking forward to sharing camaraderie and pride in our collective efforts with others in the community. Plus, it’s great exercise to get out and work in the garden!
A few other benefits we hope these gardens will help our community reach include …
• Making better choices with the foods we eat as a result of education activities
• Eating more fruits and vegetables
• Lowering our risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases
• Improving the mental health of our community members and promoting relaxation
We are excited to see what this partnership will produce, and we hope to see you in the garden!
Author C. David Williams III, MD, is Chief Clinical Officer for GHS’ Southern Region.