Piedmont Columbus Regional, Georgia DPH, The Food Mill give out free health info, fresh produce

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — On Friday, Piedmont Columbus Regional, the Georgia Department of Public Health and The Food Mill teamed up to do a pop-up event, said Tenaya Stecker, the mobile farmers market director for The Food Mill. Two vehicles owned by Piedmont Healthcare and The Food Mill stood in a parking lot at the intersection of Talbotton Road and 10th Avenue in Columbus.

At a table in front of the Piedmont bus, Carol Coakley-Hall, a Piedmont social worker, handed out health information on subjects such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and food groups. She said that when visitors were done with the health information table, they’d be sent to The Food Mill station to get fresh produce.

“I work with the community piece of the Piedmont, and I’m here just in the event that someone comes and they’re needing to get a doctor or sign up for other resources, then I’m the person that they actually talk to, she said.

Coakley-Hall said Piedmont Columbus Regional participates in the event twice a month on the first and third Friday of the month from 1 pm to 3 pm

“Now, we do have other events that we do,” she said. “If the individuals need to be followed up with blood pressure screenings or want to see a pharmacist or a physician, then we have other events that we do in the community, and we can refer them there to that event.”

Stecker said The Food Mill usually allows people to shop for food from local farmers at the pop-up location every first and third Friday of the month. But she said that due to it being winter, the farmer’s market was inactive. Instead, The Food Mill stood ready to give out bags of fresh produce, given to them by Feeding the Valley Food Bank, for free. She estimated that there were about 80 bags.

“So one of the missions of The Food Mill is to use food as medicine to combat some of the chronic illness and disease that we see in our community,” she said. “And we know a lot of times, people have low access to fresh, healthy foods like produce, or maybe they’re not in the habit of buying produce, so they don’t feel it necessary to spend their money on that. By being able to give them this for free, they can experiment with it.”

Stecker expressed the hope that people who tried the produce would incorporate it into healthier lifestyles.

“We’re taking a very holistic approach to people’s health and nutrition, and Piedmont has been an amazing partner in that,” she said. “So we want them to not only come and get some… a little taste test of spaghetti squash, some free produce, you’ve got recipes printed out but also check out Piedmont and know what they’re all about, as well.”

Leave a Comment