This summer, Fetter Health Care Network launched a partnership with Lowcountry Street Grocery (LSG) to provide on-site nutrition education classes at its Charleston Family Health Center in downtown Charleston. LSG is a local company that provides mobile farmers markets around the Charleston area that are sourced with produce, meats, cheeses and other healthy options from local farmers. LSG offers these healthy options on a sliding scale to Fetter patients and those in the community who shop the market that is set up at Fetter’s Charleston Family Health Center every Wednesday.
In addition to the farmers market, Fetter’s registered dietician has also partnered with LSG to host a 6-week educational course that covers topics such as nutrition, physical activity, healthy recipes and how to make smart choices when grocery shopping. Each participant in Fetter’s course receives a weekly $20 voucher that they can use toward produce from the farmers market that same day.
In an effort to make the produce affordable to the community, LSG also accepts EBT payments and patients receive $10 in free produce for every $5 they spend with their EBT card.
In an effort to evaluate and achieve optimal outcomes in the initial 6-week course, Fetter recruited 15 patients who had a diagnosis of obesity (BMI > 30), diabetes and hypertension. Each patient was evaluated by their primary care provider at the beginning of the course to get a baseline BMI, hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol panel and blood pressure. These metrics will also be monitored in 90 days, after the course is completed.
Many patients have already noticed results from participating in the group sessions and Fetter is currently in the second round of the 6-week course. One patient shared: “I love the social interaction and accountability from the group each week. By the end of the program, I had lost 10 lbs and was able to reduce the dose of my blood pressure medication! I plan to keep coming to the market every week because the vegetables are so fresh and I love that they make it affordable for us.”