By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
It will take a little digging and watering, but the Floyd County Nutrition Coalition provided residents with a way to eat healthier without having to visit the grocery store.
The organization recently handed out 1,000 free tomato plants in the community, as several groups participated in the effort including HOPE Southern Indiana, Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services and the Floyd County Health Department.
“It’s just a way to try and increase fruit and vegetable consumption in Floyd County,” said Whitney Dunagan, a dietitian at Southern Indiana Rehab.
The tomato plants were raised at Prosser Career Education Center, and they were handed out at different locations throughout Floyd County.
The effort was part of the Floyd County Nutrition Coalition’s “5 a Day” campaign, which encourages people to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
As quickly as the tomato plants went, organizers are already looking to again sponsor the giveaway next year.
“It’s something that with funds, we could continue,” said Shannon Carroll, community outreach nurse at Floyd Memorial.
Dunagan, Carroll and Courtney Lawrence of Floyd County Head Start handed out tomato plants at the Floyd County branch of the YMCA.
They also provided people with educational handouts with tips on how to grow the plants along with recipes.
Other organizations that participated in the project included Open Door Youth Services, Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana University Southeast.