“Eating locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables promotes more adequate intake that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and obesity,” said Dr. Sandra White, WellCare’s state medical director for Georgia.
Tampa, Fla. (PRWEB) June 26, 2013
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) is supporting healthy eating habits among low-income youth and their families through its sponsorship of 22 community gardens across Georgia. This statewide initiative to plant and grow gardens in local communities is designed to provide easy access to nutritionally rich foods that may otherwise be unavailable to low-income families, while encouraging a sense of community ownership.
The WellCare community garden initiative launched in May, when a group of youth and adults from WellCare and the Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department planted two gardens, and it will continue throughout the summer. WellCare is partnering with the Coastal Health District for four Chatham County gardens and with local Boys & Girls Clubs in Lowndes, Dougherty, Washington, Hall, Morgan and Stephens counties. Additional partner organizations include Emanuel County Healthy Connections, Sumter County Youth Development Campus, North Brooks Elementary School, Mount Early MBC, Four Points, Inc., Girls Inc., the Mitchell County Health Department and the Grady County School District.
“Eating locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables promotes more adequate intake that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and obesity,” said Dr. Sandra White, WellCare’s state medical director for Georgia. “Studies have also shown that community gardeners and their children eat healthier, more nutrient-rich diets than non-gardening families.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, community gardens may offer additional physical and mental health benefits by providing opportunities to engage in physical activity and skill building, while helping to reduce violence and improve social well-being through the strengthening of social connections.
“Across Georgia, WellCare is working to engage with our communities on healthy eating and healthy living,” said Jesse Thomas, WellCare’s south division president. “Providing members with the knowledge and skills to develop good eating habits is part of WellCare’s mission to enhance our members’ health and quality of life.”
As of March 31, 2013, WellCare serves approximately 573,000 Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members, 23,000 Medicare Advantage members and 34,000 Prescription Drug Plan members in Georgia.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind, and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves approximately 2.7 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2013. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at http://www.wellcare.com.